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Thursday, 11 January 2018

A Short History of Waste

I know -- I do go on about waste in our lives, waste of food, clothes, electricity, water... I suppose if you have witnessed want on all sides of you in India when you were a child, you are bound to get sensitive to waste. But today, I am concerned with the waste created by affluence and Maybot's ham-handed solution for getting rid of the plastic we create.
   It is interesting that Kerala banned plastic bags of above a certain thickness many years ago. At that time it surprised me that we in Britain had still not thought about it. Once upon a time, you could see blue plastic bags floating in the beautiful backwaters, entangled with the ubiquitous Water Hyacinth. Now the waters are clear again and that's a miracle. It did not take twenty-five years.
   Twentfive bl---y years to achieve, not something created, but a habit stopped. We don't have twenty-five years for this - the fish and the coral and all of our wondrous blue planet do not have the luxury of a May PLAN (like all of her other plans.) We need to do something TODAY.
    After all, all this plastic happened in this century, in fact, not so long ago. To this day, small shops in India wrap sugar and salt and groundnuts in paper cones. Saris in textile shops are often wrapped in brown paper. I am not arguing that we should start wrapping perishable food in paper. What I am hoping is that some clever chemist will come up with a bio-degradable material, which can imitate the useful qualities of plastic.
   That may be a long-term solution. Right now, why can't we stop the city-luxury of plastic coffee-cups? And plastic bottles for water. Surely we can all find drinking water within reasonable distance when we want a drink.Bring back the old water-fonts.
    Surely, someone should audit the many ways in which we create and dispose of plastic and design remedies:
    For instance, how can we stop cruisers and boats and yachts disgorging plastic into the ocean?
  Does anyone need to display a cup of coffee in the train, walking in town… Is this a badge of some kind of clan-thing?
  Could we not sell/ buy all fruit drinks in paper cartons?
 Just thoughts. But thoughts now, not next year, let alone 2042.
Is this Maybot’s escape  route? Cop-out?
 We can’t let Maybot and her friends do this kind of faux planning. We need to ignore that bunch and try to do this ourselves.