Quick Questions: Waste

We are a very wasteful society. I don’t think there’s any question about that. But a lot of the waste we generate is in the interest of health, safety, and cleanliness. When you see any medical provider, they have disposable gloves and masks and all of the tools are sealed in one-time-use plastic. Whenever a repair or service person comes to your home, they have disposable booties they put over their shoes. Food service has disposable gloves and masks and hairnets. Disposable wipes and paper towels have replaced sponges, mops, and cloth towels. The question is: Are we any cleaner, safer, or healthier now than we were when we washed our hands and reused things more often than not? Is all of this useful or merely performative?

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