I have just encountered something which to my mind is a prime example of consumerism gone completely mad. Whilst passing through the security section at the airport I noticed a sign which read something along the lines of "only place empty capsules here", the sign being strategically placed above a waste bin.
"Capsules?" I asked myself. Looking around, I then saw a dispensing machine which sold clear plastic bags which were delivered in a plastic capsule after the insertion of a one pound coin. Who thought of that idea and who made the decision to go along with it? Did they merely think of the money they could make or spend any time at all in the contemplation of the ongiong effects of the disposal /cost of recycling of those plastic capsules?
Surely a workable alternative would have been to ask people to take a bag from a stack, use it to go through the machine and then return the bag to another pile afterwards. In this way there would be no need for capsules which have no further use, and would require recycling, and you could ensure that the bags themselves were re-used and not just wasted. Or would their re-use not be allowed due to "health and safety" regulations?
I can see that airport authorities had good reason to be rather fed up with simply providing plastic bags to those who had forgotten to place their gels and liquids in such an item before they left home. It has after all been a general rule to do so for more than a couple of years. (It's probably a lot longer than that; too long for me to remember, to be honest.) It has cost the airport authorities a lot of money I'm sure in plastic bags and personnel time in handing out these items.
It just struck me that this new method of "delivery by capsule" didn't sit very well in a community which is trying to be "green". Why use unnecessary plastic capsules? I'm sure somebody will have a good answer to this question, and will be able to defend their position. But I'm afraid for me it looked like an opportunistic effort to make a few pounds at the expense of the environment.
It cannot be considered similar in altruistic intent, for instance, as Marks and Spencer's charging five pence for a plastic bag in an effort to get customers to re-use old bags. That makes a lot of sense to me. It is a very workable solution, not requiring delivery via an unnecessary plastic capsule which pops out from a machine, and expresses a sense of environmental awareness which would be good to see more often.
If everybody began their search for better ideas or more workable solutions to problems from the perspective of devising a plan which did not have a detrimental effect upon the environment, then it is likely that different solutions might well come under consideration. I have to say that these capsules are not what my main point is; this is just one example of something which looked, on the face of it, rather daft. How many things have you seen of this nature which left you with a similar feeling?
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