Posted by: patwogan | October 28, 2010

Plastic or Paper

Back when I was growing up, plastic was not an option.  When you bought meat at the market, it was cut at the time you ordered it.  It was also wrapped in paper and tied with string.  Not plastic lined paper, just brown…actually white butcher paper.  When you got to the counter to pay for your items, or put it on your charge ticket, the only choice for a bag was paper.

Toys were also wooden, or metal.  No plastic.  Oh, there was celluloid which was a teeny bit like plastic.  The main things I remember that were celluloid were cupie dolls.  Cupie dolls were little dolls with feathers on their heads and also on their teeny little costumes.    I don’t know why they were named cupie dolls.  I just researched then on the internet and found they were also called kewpie dolls.  And they were nude!  Not anatomically correct, though, as that was unheard of back then for dolls.  They looked a bit like “Betty Boop” who was a cartoon character.

Back to plastic or paper.  If you can, try to imagine your world today without plastic.  No Tupperware or imitations.  No plastic bottles for soda, water, or milk. Everything was glass.  The glass soda bottles required a deposit and were returnable.  A good way to get money to go to the movies was to gather up soda bottles and turn them in.   Glass containers with lids, stackable to fit in the refrigerator for leftovers.  Glass milk bottles which were delivered to your house in the city full of non-homogenized milk complete with the cream which had risen to the top.  Cardboard egg cartons in the store which were collapsible.  Then there were metal containers.  Ice cube trays…where electric or gas refrigerators were available…were made of metal.  An exception to this was a rubber ice cube tray put in Frigidaire refrigerators.  Yes, the ice had a rubber taste.

Cars were made of metal and glass.  Glass windshields and windows and metal bodies and parts.  This may be why some of the early cars are still around today as antiques.  They had to be very heavy, no doubt.  They were not streamlined looking like they are today.  Plastic can be molded into more streamlined shapes.

We lived “green” and didn’t even know it.  To tell you the truth, when they give me a choice between paper and plastic, I’ll take plastic every time!  Shame on me!


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