Sunday, 13 May 2018

Seven Bags Full

I live in Marsaskala, which used to be a fishing village but has now grown into a town that gets inundated with outsiders every Sunday in the winters and all through the week in the summer.

As a result, the restaurants in my town are always full of business. This translates into massive amounts of garbage for the truck to pick up, daily in our case, as the schedule in Marsaskala is for 'normal' garbage pick-up to occur on every day of the week including Sundays and most feasts. By 'normal' I mean non-recyclable here.

In some towns and villages a pilot program started quite a while ago asking residents to separate not only recyclables from the rest of the garbage but also to put compostable material in a third bag that would be picked up on allotted days. Unfortunately this new program is yet to reach my town. Which makes me wonder why wouldn't a town that generates so much in compostable garbage through restaurants and take-aways not be considered for the pilot program, if only to avoid more years of throwing the material away rather than try to minimise waste.

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/
many-piles-of-trash-with-plastic-bags-
and-bottles-illustration_1169356.htm
I decided to write this article only tonight when, out for a walk with my family, we passed by one of the restaurants close to the beach and I noticed seven huge garbage bags on the pavement just outside it, waiting to be picked up by the truck tomorrow morning. I can definitely understand that such a business would generate an amount of garbage and also the fact that Sundays are busy days for the restaurant. What I cannot fathom is how come there were SEVEN mountainous bags of garbage.

I can only gather that the restaurant might not even separate the recyclable stuff from the rest of it, especially since I did glimpse a white plate through one of the semi-transparent bags that was most definitely a paper or plastic one.

This kind of thing worries me for two reasons. Firstly, are people still so uneducated about the repercussions of not taking care of our environment? And secondly, recyclable or not, why are businesses even still using disposable items to such an extent?

I can understand the limitations of the venue in providing certain items in reusable materials. It is definitely unhygienic to provide non-disposable straws to customers and dangerous to give little children metal forks and glass or ceramic plates and glasses. I am also a fan of the doggie bag over throwing leftovers away so I excuse a certain amount of disposable packaging items if they help reduce on food waste. However I am sure there are some items that could easily be replaced by restaurants with more environment-friendly options. Add to this, I am sure that the patrons themselves could easily help the effort in small ways such as by carrying their own stainless steel straw and refusing to take a plastic one provided by the venue. In the same way, one can easily carry a warmth-retaining lidded cup and ask that it be filled up at the coffee shop rather than accepting a polystyrene one. The list of ways in which we can not only recycle, but preferably even reduce the amount of recyclable material we use up, is next to endless. So whilst I will stop my post here for today, I will definitely be back with more about how to reduce, reuse and recycle.

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