What part of reusable do people not understand?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In recent months to a couple of years I have begun wondering as to what part of the word and term “reusable” people have difficulties in understanding.

People seem to go on a picnic in a park, nowadays, and not wanting to use plastic cutlery (after all that is not very environmentally conscious and “green”) they bring, and some actually buy specifically for this picnic, reusable metal cutlery and then, hold on to your hats, throw those knives, forks and spoons, into the trash because they have, obviously, become dirty in use.

In one instance it was a case of people having bought half a dozen packs of knives, forks and spoons at IKEA (receipt found also) at £3.99 per pack, then put the dirty ones back into the plastic sleeves that they came in, though not in the right order, put the lot into the IKEA bag, and then deposited everything into the little bin.

This is the case not only reusable cutlery that is, deliberately, thrown after picnics, but also plastic drinking tumblers, often entire IKEA sets. Also washing up bowls, that have been used with ice to keep drinks cool, often also specifically bought for this one picnic, are being deliberately left behind, and at times even quite expensive chef's knives. The latter, as far as parks and open spaces, are also rather worrying should they fall into the wrong hands.

It would appear that somewhere along the line the message seems to have gotten lost as to what reusable means and I would say that that is just a tad worrying. Those people either have either more money than sense, that is to say too much money that they can waste things in such a way, or they really have not understood the message of “reusable”, or are simply too lazy to take their reusables home to wash, or all of the above.

For those who have not understood what reusable means let me spell it out slowly: “re” is a prefix here and “usable” means you can use it and together it means that you can use it again, and again, and again. All you have to do, in the case of tableware, and that includes cutlery, is to wash it.

© 2016