Rita Walker (Blog Seventeen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
We take some liberties with Rita Walker, such as suggesting what supermarkets might be like in the near future. The idea is to show possible solutions but there are always other ideas that might be better. A concern is if only one replacement, like hemp, were to be used what would be the environmental impact of trying to grow enough hemp? So the answer might be having a variety of sources to replace plastics in supermarkets.
It’s Saturday and Rita can hardly focus. Tonight she meets up with Marlo near the Kanetic Reusable Batteries by the Oakhill Cemetery. First she has to discuss an upcoming lecture with the Metro Supermarket manager.
She walks through the supermarket’s sliding glass doors and heads towards the Service Desk. As she passes the aisles she notices that most of the customers are using muslin produce bags. At the Service desk she asks for Ryan Day, the store’s manager.
“Hello Rita,” says a man in his forties who stands slightly taller than Rita. He has fading blond hair and a sharp nose that makes his smile even broader. “Let’s go for a walk.”
“The bags you see in the produce section are made from cellulose,” Ryan tells her. As they walk past the other aisles Ryan points out the meat section. Instead of Styrofoam or plastic for the base we use paper packaging coated with cellulose.”
“What’s the environmental impact of using cellulose?” Rita asks.
“That’s something the owners of the supermarket are considering. If it’s affordable it might be better to use numerous sources to replace plastic. So we have cellulose bags available but also customers can bring their reusable bags. We have some packaging made of hemp but it would be devastating to the forest and farm to grow enough hemp to make it the only reusable alternative.”
“Well thank you for the good news,” Rita says as she gazes at the reusable packaging. “What happens to the food that doesn’t get purchased?”
“Initially we sell it at a discount or give it to the foodbank. Once it expires the food is sent to be converted into energy or fertilizer for local farms.”
“Can you give the food to the foodbank?” Rita had heard supermarkets and food markets were concerned about being sued if they gave day old food to food banks.
“No, there’s a law called Donation of Food Act. Obviously food that is moldy, smells bad or has other signs of going rotten cannot be donated.”
“Well, thank you Ryan, you’ve made my day,” Rita says as she offers her hand.
“My pleasure. I hope to have more good news for you in the near future.”
As Rita drives home she wonders what the night will bring. She researched Kanetic Reusable Batteries and found very little information except a list of its current employees. Kanayago’s name was listed under research and development.