A friend mentioned to me last week that the vast majority of roadway litter is fast- or convenience-food related. After picking up two bags of garbage in a thirty-minute walk today, I am inclined to agree.
The irony was, most of the litter I collected was in front of a waste management facility offering residential and commercial trash removal. Most of the garbage had been in bags. The former owners had been trying to do the “right” thing – reusing plastic grocery bags to throw away their trash. But, by whatever means, the bags ended up on the ground outside the waste management facility, where weather degraded and shredded the plastic, spilling its contents everywhere.
Which got me thinking: what if every man, woman and child in the U.S. used reusable packaging for their food just once? That would be over 325 MILLION pieces of garbage that didn’t get thrown away in the first place.
OK, ok, I know realistically that everyone would still throw away the next piece of industrial food packaging, and we’d be back to square one.
But what if some people cut back on food packaging several times a week, by reusing water bottles or buying more food in bulk and repackaging it themselves in recyclable containers?
What if some people opted out of the fast- and convenience-food industries altogether?
What if some food manufactures started packaging their products in containers that were biodegradable, compostable, or able to be repurposed for an entirely different use?
Or what if more people just picked up litter from the roadsides and in the process, inspired others to do likewise? I know my two bags don’t make a “real” dent in the litter problem, but somebody should do something. And I can.