Mudcat Café message #3900314 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161248   Message #3900314
Posted By: Charmion
18-Jan-18 - 09:41 AM
Thread Name: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness - Clearing Out the House
Yes, the amount of plastic packaging is mad. On the other hand, that awful plastic film keeps fruit, veg, meat and baked goods clean, and easier to handle at the check-out counter as long as the cashier can be prevented from flinging one's carefully bagged fragile comestibles. If our society insists on marketing food as if apples and animal parts were widgets made of stainless steel, then plastic film is essential to the maintenance of even the pretense of food safety.

People talk a lot about food poisoning and fret noisily about botulism and E.Coli contamination, but the actual incidence of food-borne disease has declined radically in industrialized nations over the last century. That's mostly attributable to public health inspections, vigorous prosecutions when negligence is found, and widespread use of impermeable food packaging.

There is such a thing as biodegradable plastic film; I've seen it in several Ontario grocery chains. I have a nasty, sneaking feeling, however, that it is more expensive than the bog-standard kind, and I know from messy experience that it is not as strong.

The Ottawa "solid waste" (i.e., garbage) system is so complex that the city distributes leaflets and calendars to every single municipal address to ensure that people know what is collected and when. I suspect that every household that manages its garbage competently has a member who has accepted the role of Garbage Guru, and spends anywhere up to an hour a week rounding up and sorting debris.

The collection and composting of animal waste -- everything from chicken bones to dog droppings -- was one of the city's most debated programs, second only to the construction of a multi-billion-dollar light rail system that includes a tunnel under most of downtown.

In Stratford, garbage is a little simpler, but not much. We have plenty of raccoons in this neighbourhood and a large community of crows, so I am just as particular about garbage management in this leafy small-town suburb as I was in the big city.