Yesterday I had lunch at Taco Bell with my dear niece, who is visiting from Egypt and staying with me for a few months. I decided to go for a new meal that looks beautiful in the big and colorful picture. My niece didn't really know what to chose, so she ordered the same. I waited for a few minutes, then saw a tray with two huge platters on the counter, with my order number on it.
The first thing that caught my attention, and actually shocked me, was how the meals were served. We took them "for here", so we didn't need to have them wrapped up. However, the meal was served in a big plastic platter, and, even worse and even more frightening, it had this HUGE, still plastic, cover. The cover looked nice, but I was just unable to understand why use it when it will be discarded right away. I thought that all it serves is to look nice for a few seconds, and it lasts only until we go to our table, take it off and eat the meal. Then, you know: throw it in the trash :( What an incredible and meaningless waste! Imagine how many of those are served every day all over the country, they will add up and make a nice hill of plastic covers, made only to last for a few seconds, then be discarded!
To say the least, that's irresponsible. But it's not only Taco Bell, fast food places insanely add tons of plastic, one-use containers to our trash. You know, when trash goes out of our sight, and we have a clean apartment or restaurant with a new and empty trash bag, it doesn't mean that all we have just discarded is eternally out of sight. No dear, it's going somewhere else, and it's going to accumulate there. It's adding to millions and millions of tons of disposable material that we use for one time then kill the earth with it. Sometimes I imagine when our grand-children, or, hopefully, our children read about these past (for them) practices, they will look at us and say that they are really unable to understand how stupid and irresponsible our civilization had been!
Now, if I was a ruler, I'd start by regulating all those fast food places. It might be difficult to start by individuals and change their lives and practices. But businesses make money, and we can ask them to implement some new procedures. They also contribute a great deal to the problem. I'd simply force them to eliminate unnecessary packaging, add recycling to their facilities and actually recycle all that can be recycled. When talking of packaging, all manufacturers must also be forced to stop using stupidly big and useless packaging. If they are not forced, by law, to do it, most businesses will never do it. It's as simple as that. However, the consequences are not simple or small. I am looking forward for a time when hurting our environment will be seen and treated for what it is, as a crime.