Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Boomerang the Boomerang Lunches?

A little but of a furor in Quebec over a child being punished for using a Ziploc sandwich bag. A Ziploc bag, the horror!  Get your pitchforks people!

Our children's school has instituted the boomerang lunch program. What this means is that any food packing that is sent with your child in their lunch box, has to come home with the child in their lunch box. And our school takes it one step further, even though all of the packaging is returned home, it is frowned upon if any food is wrapped in a disposable type wrap.

So my wife diligently unwraps the granola bar, throws out the wrap, and puts the granola bar in a plastic container. Yogurt is scooped out of the plastic container it was shipped in, and put into another "re-usable" container.

This program is promoted as environmentally friendly. But it isn't. The same garbage is generated, it just doesn't make it to the school. As a matter of fact, it increases waste. The main wasted item is the lunch bag itself (FYI the lunch pail of my/your youth have disappeared, all lunch containers are now insulated fabric bags.) When the children are done with their lunch, everything is tossed back into the bag, and the containers may or may not be resealed.  They are kids after all!  Banana peels, orange peels, apple cores, yogurt containers, you name it. Many kids go to daycare after school, which means this garbage sits rotting in the lunch bags for several hours each day. Which means the bags get a certain odour about them, and will even grow different species of mold. So the lunch bag gets tossed. One mother with 3 kids at our school had gone through three lunch bags per kid in the first two months of school. NINE lunch bags thrown out in two months. And then you have the "reusable" containers. Well they ain't so reusable if they get dropped or lost, meaning more containers have to be purchased to replace the ones that are lost or damaged.

How is this environmentally responsible?  It doesn't even qualify as sustainable!

The sad thing is, this program isn't really about the environment. It is about the school saving money. They want to save the money spent on shipping tons of garbage each year. The program (at our school) is sold as "teaching environmental awareness" because that is much more palatable then "we're too cheap to deal with waste."

Some people are saying this is environmentalism gone wild. From my view, it is just a dumb fucking policy.

PS And its not like the message is taking hold.  I  had to retrieve two Macdonalds drink cups on our residential street that two teens had just tossed away when they were done with them.


Ken Breadner said...

Y'know, I'd really like to see a school budget ca. 1980 and one ca. 2010. Between endless fundraising, the need to purchase the most basic supplies for your student child, and now this...I wanna know where all the money went.

Catelli said...

You and me both.