I found a wrapper yesterday from a package of cookies that used to come with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. (You know, before they went all “healthy” with the apple slices.) I spotted the well-preserved fast food plastic packaging while picking up trash in my yard and instantly recognized the wide-eyed purple character on the package. It was Grimace! “Wow,” I thought as I picked it up. “I wonder how old this is.”
I flipped it over and was pretty surprised to discover that it was made in 1987. I’ll do the math for you. This wrapper has survived, fully intact, FOR 25 YEARS. That also means that this wrapper was from a Happy Meal that was made when I was 13. (You’ll have to do your own math there.) Heck, it could’ve been from a Happy Meal that I ate. Theoretically anyway!
Talk about putting the importance of recycling into perspective!
As just one example, it’s quite likely that the wrapper from the candy bar I ate as a child when I went to see E.T. for the 5th time is currently resting comfortably in a landfill, looking just as good as it did 30 years ago. (And sadly, I don’t even remember eating that candy bar. I do however, remember seeing E.T. many times at the movie theater. I know I improvised the candy part, but I’m sure I must have eaten one plastic-wrapped snack while I was there. Probably a few!)
I couldn’t begin to count (or remember) all the Happy Meals I ate as a kid. It’s sad to think of all the garbage that is sitting in landfills because of me. That’s not the legacy I want to leave behind. I hope that’s not the legacy McDonald’s wants to leave behind either.
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