I was in the office the other day of an organisation that works in the organic food sector.
In their kitchen is a huge bowl in which the staff can throw organic waste for composting.
I noticed a teab*g in the bowl.
Now, a reasonable reaction is turn over the bowl and a few chairs and scream loudly : “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???”.
However, my enquiring mind got in first and thought “what about the staple?”.
There it was, bold as brass (although not actually brass), a staple holding the unnecessary piece of dirty string to the filthy paper-pillow of undrinkable (though organic-certified) tea.
I wondered if it was acceptable for metal to be part of organic composting.
Turns out that metal is invisible in the organic process. It’s not seen as organic, or not organic. It just is. It’s like steel is suddenly Buddha.
Does that seem right?
I can’t see any ethical justification for teab*gs: if you care about the planet, why would you use one. But the staple, I think, takes it to whole new level.
Why are we providing worms with steel, the result of thousands of years of human cleverness? On the day when armoured worms rise up, pointing their fannings-soaked steel-tipped mini-lances at our ankles and attempting to subvert our rightful place at the top of the food chain, we’ll all be sorry.