Kicking the plastic addiction
The Editor, Thank you for last week’s excellent editorial on the world’s plastic problems (March 28, ‘Our costly, plastic addiction’).
The Chinese now don’t want the mixture of our plastic recyclables. The market has now disappeared so the stuff now has to go to landfill where it never breaks down.
As a visitor to your hospital for three days I observed the plastic problem in action. The person in the hospital received ten plastic water bottles with straws plus several plastic glasses every day. The person in the next bed received the same things. All of them end up in recycle. Practically everything on the meal tray was in plastic containers including plastic glasses and plastic pill containers, juice bottles and dessert servings.
If there are 100 people in the hospital that means they get 1,000 plastic water bottles every day. That’s 365,000 bottles a year from just the water. Bottled water is 300 to 800 times more expensive than municipal tap water and some of it allegedly contains tiny pieces of plastic.
So the municipal water would actually be better for the patients. I don’t have accurate figures on number of patients or the costs of bottled water, but the hospital does.
My suggestion for the Alexandria de-plasticization project is a pilot project using aluminum water bottles that could be used, sterilized and refilled in the hospital, if space is available.
This would require some modifications, but the equipment to do this could be manufactured and fabricated by a local business. There is no need for this to be done by a transnational corporation; it should be done by a business in town. If this hospital volume is too small it could be done at a local plant that could also supply the hospital, in Cornwall, as they have exactly the same plastic problems.
As a former manager of economic development (long ago) and a seed capital venture capital consultant (long ago) your editorial excited me and I would like to help any group that wants to look at the feasibility of doing this.
I will leave my email and phone number with the editor if anyone wants to make contact.
Jim Purdie, Toronto