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  • Writer's pictureOverturnTheTables

Advent day 21 - Panama realism

I would be completely unrealistic if I said my Panama journey is going to be 100% zero waste. It isn't going to happen and it has taken me some time to get to grips with that. Reasons are as follows.

1. I have to drink bottled water. It is a danger to my health not to. And my health for 2 weeks is more important.

2. You should see the bucket of medication I have to take with me from malerone, to gastro stop, to hydrolite, to cold and flu etc etc etc. All are wrapped in plastics

3. I cannot control the waste disposal of my environment over there. When at home I have a compost system, I have a good recycling system (well as far as my bin goes.. don't get me started on the council) and I can purchase foods in the way that I can control with bulk food buying etc. Over in Panama, chances are I wont have access to compost, so most of my food will end up in landfill.

4. The aeroplane food. So much plastic packaging....

5. Welcome packs. We receive a big bag (I think) of things that we will need that no doubt include a tonne of publications that wont be needed. I will be lucky if it only includes the journal, water-bottle and food vouchers.

6. Eating over in Panama. We get food vouchers for places like subway for parts of the week. Subway isn't the worst when it comes to packaging as most is a paper-ish, but it isn't homemade lunches.

Every time that I travel, I still come across the same problems in various forms. Home is really where zero-waste can be controlled at the moment. I'm aware that it would take the whole city to rethink how it does everything for tourists to be zero waste, but I can't expect anyone to do that.

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