Plastic

Life in plastic...it's fantastic...

9:31 AM



Not so sure about that...

I think this would be true for a lot of country but I came to fully realise it here in India : In 5000 years from now if the Earth has not been destroyed completely by humans, some arecheologist might discover relics of our civilisation in the form of plastic container, buckets, pouches, chairs...you name it.

More seriously, everyday it seems my garbage bag (which is a recycled palstic shopping bag) contains more plastic than anything else. EVERYTHING comes into a nice plastic wrapping, from fruits, vegetables, to pasta, milk or cheese...and it really crosses the line of ridiculousness when you buy a plastic container...wrapped in a plastic film!!!!!!!!

Speaking of plastic container, I've never seen a country more obsessed with those containers and anything plastic than any other country I visited. You find containers of every size and colors in shops from big enough to store 5kg (about 10 pounds) of flour to tiny enough to carry spices in your pocket. This storage mania probably comes from the fact you buy flour, lentils, and any grocery goods per Kg at the general store (and it comes in a plastic bag, or at the supermarket where it comes in plastic pouches. And the fact that ants and corckroaches are a comon things in indian housholds calls for good storage...but why not glass????? 
Good question, I haven't seen many practical glass jars around here maybe it's not durable enough and the risk of breaking it at the wrong time is way too big. The good old stainless steel canisters are old fashionned and you can't see what's inside and calls for proper labelisation or an elephant's memory to remember it's content.
it seems like plastic is far more practical, plus you tend to get those container free with purchase very often. In the 3 years I've been in India, I got 2 small one while purchasing oil, a 3 kg capacity one on purchase of laundry detergent, a fancy neon pink one with salty snacks, and 2 really nice one gotten recently on purchase of cheese slices. 

I also got other interesting plasticware free with purchase : 2 soups bowls with soup on purchase of...yeah you guess right : instant soup...those bowls got so dirty they are history, but I still have the plastic spoon in my salt plastic container, and I got a snack size bowl once with some chips. One of my favourite.

Which brings me to the next plastic fancy here in India : dishes, and utility plastic. Plastic dishes mimicking china without the break factor is now the big craze in wedding gifts...I got one set at my own wedding, it's hard melamin plastic, and you can trust your maid with it without problem. But since it's not fancy enough for special occasion better have some real china in the house too. The microwave revolution also contributed to this new kind of plastic as you can now buy microwave sets of serving dishes, idli maker, casseroles... all made of plastic and at a certain price. Your indian bathroom comes equiped with 1or 2 plastic buckets, 1 or 2 plastic mugs (one to shower yourself and one to shower your bottom after number 2), a plastic stool (to sit and shower with the mug...lots of Indian will still bathe that way due to water shortage), let's not forget one or two plastic tooth brush holder and the plastic framed mirror to complete the look.

Do you think your living room is safe from the plastic invasion? Think again, while bamboo furniture bought on the road side are about the same price as the plastic ones sold on the same road side, people will prefer buying the plastic one...DH and I did that mistake 2 years ago...and now we are sick and tired of seeing our 4 grey plastic chairs and pink coffee table. One of them is getting sun damaged outside, the other bruises our sight inside the house and we are now seriouly thinking of buying real furniture.
You probably know what a bamboo mat is, and chances are you have one to roll out on the beach...here they are used to sit on the floor or on your rooftop, and yes they have a plastic version too! When we bought one for the house we got the real natural one as I refused to sponsor the plastic industry further than I was doing it already.


In conclusion there are limits to plastic, while a having plastic container is a good idea, I don't think it is such a good one to buy them all, lots of goods bought in big quantities comes with a jar of somekind which can be refilled later one. Jam jars made of glass make wonderful storage container once cleaned. And limiting the plastic bag use should be our mission for all of us...I noticed that if you don't stop cashiers in supermarket, they use too many plastic bags : one for the vegetables, one for the cereals, one for the bottle of shampoo you bought and if you bough meat this too will go in a separate bag...it's uselss creates a lot of litter and to prevent it all we have to say is "please put everything in the same bag", the local grocery store down the street is the one place you can easily shop without plastic so take your canevas tote bag along. I love my pharmacist for making small paper bags out of used newspaper.

If we all start being caucious about what we buy and how we buy it I think we could reduce the garbage load by half.

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