Edi­to­rial

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS -

I’m all for cut­ting back on plas­tic bags, but I over­heard a man in a café the other week talk­ing about how used to them we have be­come, and how hard it can be to find a sub­sti­tute. His mother lives in an apart­ment block for se­niors in, I think, Ok­la­homa, in a town where they have banned plas­tic bags. All her food scraps go into an un­lined kitchen bin. Un­lined be­cause pa­per bags are also dis­cour­aged as ap­par­ently ‘bag for bag, they cost more to land­fill than plas­tic bags be­cause they take up much more space by weight and vol­ume’. Mom emp­ties her lit­tle bin into a mini dump­ster. When the san­i­ta­tion de­part­ment emp­ties the bin, the truck sim­ply up­ends it into the garbage truck and sets it back down. Garbage that is wet or sticky stays stuck to the in­side of the dump­ster, which has led to a rat and odour prob­lem. The san­i­ta­tion de­part­ment says the res­i­dents are re­spon­si­ble for the clean­ing of the bins. But the res­i­dents are el­derly and of­ten frail. The lady in ques­tion, says her son, is so lit­tle she can’t ac­tu­ally lift the lid of the dump­ster. And any­way, if she did clear out the re­main­ing scraps from within, where would she put them? The dump­ster is her only op­tion. Clearly, there’s a lot more think­ing to be done as we move to be plas­tic bag free. P.S. Don’t even men­tion so-called biodegrad­able bags. I’ve al­ready had an ear­ful from a waste dis­posal com­pany about them. Who knew?

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