360° of Plastic

22 12 2015
Restaurants wrap their dishes in plastic after they have sanitized them.

Restaurants wrap their dishes in plastic after they have sanitized them. These dishes and chopsticks are not new, they are simply re-wrapped every time they are washed.

An extremely strange practice to Americans, but very common in China, includes wrapping absolutely everything in excessive amounts of plastic. Stores make a point to wrap and double-wrap candy, books, refillable water jugs, and fruit in at least one layer of plastic.

It should come as no surprise to me that restaurants also wrap their sanitized dishes in plastic; Chinese people seem to equate plastic with the word “clean”. One of the first phrases I learned how to say was “wo bu yao bao,” which means, “I don’t want a bag.”

If it’s in plastic, it must be better, right?

Coffee/tea shops all use a machine that adheres a thin layer of plastic to the top of cups, instead of a plastic top.

Coffee/tea shops all use a machine that adheres a thin layer of plastic to the top of cups, instead of a plastic top.

This is a great example of a Chinese convenience store. Everything (like cakes, candies, fruit) is individually-wrapped in bins, and they will weigh it for you on a scale.

This is a great example of a Chinese convenience store. Everything (like cakes, candies, fruit) is individually-wrapped in bins, and they will weigh it for you on a scale.

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