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Hospital visitor sparks debate after sharing photo of questionable food products from cafeteria: 'That's not the issue'

"Why are hospitals like this!?"

"Why are hospitals like this!?"

Photo Credit: iStock

Plastic packaging can be inconvenient for buyers and damaging for the environment since it's often hard to recycle. Nevertheless, many companies are relying on it more and more — and some take it to an absurd degree. One Redditor shared a photo of a product with incredibly wasteful packaging at their local hospital.

What happened?

"My local hospital sells individually packaged cheese slices on paper plates," the Redditor explained in their post on r/mildlyinteresting. The topic was also cross-posted to r/idiocracy and r/ABoringDystopia.

"Why are hospitals like this!?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

For proof, the original poster shared a photo of a stack of paper plates. Each plate held a single thin slice of cheese, and each one was wrapped in cling film. A label stuck to each one called it "Sliced American Cheese" and set the price at 39 cents.

What's the problem with this packaging?

As commenters pointed out, the materials and labor needed to wrap cheese this way drive up prices for buyers, who may not have the time or freedom to leave the hospital and buy food elsewhere. "Packaging and label probably costs the same as the cheese price," one user said.

The plastic is also bad for the environment. Small, soft pieces of plastic such as cling film gum up recycling machinery and can't be processed at most sites. That means they go into a landfill or end up in the environment — potentially entangling or being eaten by wildlife.

What's worse is that, as some commenters pointed out, American cheese often comes in individual packages already. "I'd like to think it's a Kraft single and they unwrapped the plastic, put it on a plate, and wrapped it in plastic," one user said.

If that's what happened, then this practice is even more wasteful.

Is there any reason for the waste?

"Why are hospitals like this!?" one commenter lamented.

"Hospitals are one of the few areas that should be exempt from waste concerns. I'd rather not them be reusing gloves and needles," another user pointed out.

"See, I agree with that," a third commenter said. "But that's not the issue. … There's plenty of areas within hospital and medical treatment where they should be exempt, but there's plenty where they could easily cut down on waste with no harm to anyone."

How can I cut down on plastic waste?

Luckily, individuals at home aren't at nearly as much risk for spreading dangerous germs as hospitals. It's much easier to get rid of single-use plastic items — including bottled water, plastic razors, and sandwich baggies — and replace them with reusable alternatives such as personal water bottles, metal razors, and silicone bags. Making the switch will save you money in the long run and keep plastic out of landfills.

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