Disclaimer

BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

No Tomorrow

Whenever we need some "proper" shopping, we head about 20 miles away to Southampton. It's a far better for shopping than nearby Salisbury.

My wife was looking for some new earphones today, so off we headed. A mediocre shopping list - return some clothing, look for the earphones, then go to the Decathlon for some tee-shirts to wear at the gym (her, not me!).

We went mid-morning, and by lunchtime we were done. Seeing as we were out, my wife suggested getting some lunch. Me being me, I agreed.

Most of our shopping had been done in a mall called West Quay, so we decided to lunch there. We found an American-styled burger place called Five Guys. I'd never heard of the place before, although from its web site, it looks like a US chain which has opened up in the UK. They had a decent-looking menu, and I decided to eat meat for the meal.

The order was a burger (wife) and a hot dog (me). We shared a portion of fries, and I had a milk shake and wife a fizzy drink.

Going through this one-by-one, both the burger and the dog came wrapped in foil. The fries came in a polystyrene cup. Wife's drink came in one of those paper-impregnated-with-plastic cups, and my drink came in a pure plastic cup, complete with plastic straw and lid. The drinks came immediately, but the food came all together, in a paper bag.

I suppose these guys deserve a round of applause for using paper bags, not plastic. But the goodness stops just about there. Foil is indeed recyclable (let's forget for a minute that re-using is preferable to re-cycling), except I saw people eat their burger, scrunch their foil wrappers into a ball, place back in the bag, then the bag scrunched up and put in their bin. So I wonder just how much of that foil gets recycled? A polystyrene cup, used once then also put into their trash. My drink - three pieces of plastic, used once then thrown away. Lastly, my wife's drink. In exactly the same kind of single-use cup that ethical coffee chains have refused to use.

The only area in which I have questions here is in how we encourage people to use resources more wisely. I don't like to run towards taxing everything to force people to change their habits, but taxing plastic bags certainly had the right effect. Maybe if cafes are forced to charge £50 for their foil-wrapped burgers, they'll think twice?

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