Recently saw this picture, and had to laugh, because you’d never see this today in the West.

Every sandwich, today, would be individually wrapped, at the least in plastic wrap, but probably with a hard plastic container as well.

We are a bunch of germophobes, but it serves us ill. When I was a child in Malaysia, there was a rule among the ex-pats. The kids who were kept from all contact with “local” germs, were sick as heck. (One friend had his toys boiled regularly. He was sick all the time.) Those of us who were allowed to have normal contact, had no more illnesses than the locals (less, because we were properly inoculated and so on.)

Meanwhile we have vast stretches of ocean which are clogged by plastic. Plastic is showing up in both marine and terrestrial wildlife, and making its way into our own food-chain.


The rule for all consumer goods, and indeed, all manufacturing, should be that if it doesn’t degrade, or the manufacturer doesn’t guarantee recycling, with a bond posted to ensure performance and lack of strategic bankruptcy, it doesn’t get made. In those rare (and they should be very rare), cases where as a society, we want to make an exception, waivers should be required, and they should be paid for: the cost should be multiple of the monetary damage they do by not being recyclable. (At least two times, and multiple because monetary damage is not the only damage.)

Add to this laws and enforcement of laws banning “planned obsolescence” and we might be well on our way to un-fucking our environment. Or, I suppose, we could continue to prioritize short-term profit, neurotic fear of germs, and convenience. I mean, who gives a shit if our children and grandchildren have a planetary environment which can support life at the worst, or an environment which is incredibly unhealthy (which plastic’s estrogenic effects have already created)?

(Note: I’m in the hospital (serious, but unlikely to kill me), so things like comment moderation may not happen until I’m out, or may be delayed. Likewise, typos and other errors are unlikely to be fixed.)

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