WE got a Tesco home delivery the other day. For those who receive their shopping this way, you’ll know that a driver carries your order in crates to your door, and you unload them. Over the last year or more, one thing has changed – the shopping no longer comes in plastic bags, which means you have the annoying task of unloading everything individually. I talked to the driver the other day about it and he said, predictably, that this was Tesco’s war on plastic. It doesn’t matter that the crates they’re carried in are made of plastic or that a good majority of products stocked by Tesco are still wrapped in the stuff; the supermarket doesn’t trust its customers to re-use the plastic bags which at one point would have made home delivery easier.
From one pain in the backside to another: it seems the government is now intent on banning single-use plastic plates, cartons and cutlery in restaurants and takeaways ‘to protect the environment’.
Now, I understand the desire to reduce littering but I’ve never understood why reducing plastic will help the environment. This BBC article claims that it can pollute water and soil but once collected, by various street cleaners, surely it is then recycled and if not, why not? And what will takeaways use now that their cheap and easy packaging has gone? I doubt if there’ll be a return to newspapers, and that’s not really practical with much takeaway food. Call me cynical, but I wonder whether this is really about the environment and not part of their obesity drive.
And since the government and businesses around the country are so keen to save the environment, what of the many single-use facemasks that still litter the pavements? Will they be banned too or will they continue to be widely distributed, a ‘necessary’ evil to keep the health service from collapse? Who knows?
When you root through the posturing in the BBC article, you’ll eventually reach Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey’s statement on single-use plastic items, which is frankly bizarre: ‘I am determined to drive forward action to tackle this issue head on. We’ve already taken major steps in recent years – but we know there is more to do, and we have again listened to the public’s calls.’
The idea that this government listens to the public on anything is laughable. What public calls? Considering the fury across the country at present, I’m sure that the majority, who are watching every penny, who are concerned about the rise in energy bills, fuel, food costs, transport, etc, couldn’t give a hoot about whether their takeaway serves food in single-use plastic or not.
I love the idea that government listens to and acts on public calls. If it did, lockdowns might never have happened. There’d have been no mandates and no one would have lost their job for failing to take an experimental jab. The borders might have been protected and the taxpayer wouldn’t be forking out millions every day to keep illegal migrants in room service. Billions wouldn’t have been sent to Ukraine but instead would have been pumped into this country, maybe to help the homeless off the streets. We might even have heard a minister or two railing against woke culture. But that’s not the reality, is it? Rather than helping people in these difficult times, we have government ministers and secretaries whining about single-use plastic.
Nice to know they have their priorities right.