Can you imagine sitting down to a bowl of ice cream and reminding yourself not to throw the empty pot away? Have you ever been shopping and chosen one product over the other because the packaging can be re-purposed? What about having your scissors sharpened? Maybe some of you have thought of these things, but for the majority of people living in the USA, we never think about these things. Scissors are cheap and you can get a new pair for really cheap. Ice cream is no longer packaged in plastics like they used to be, so the container is tossed  out. Packaging nowadays is under scrutiny because minimalist is the new way to go.
However, in Brazil things aren't so easily decided.

Coming from the USA, I saw a very clear contrast between the world of consumption which is the USA and the world of resurfacing and reuse that is Brazil.

I remember walking through a large supermarket the first week I was in Brazil. My mother and I were looking for a plastic trash can. We both thought, a plastic waste basket would be a really cheap buy. We were both surprised when we saw the sign... R$10.00. Then written below it was a 10x in smaller letters. I looked at it, I may have even tilted my head in an effort to make sure I was really seeing what was in front of me. It was a small waste basket for ten payments of 10 bucks. Swallowing hard, I thought, ok maybe it is just waste baskets. We moved on to Tupperware... and the nightmare continued. It seemed like anything made of plastic was outrageously expensive.

Over the next week I was able to find some cheaper plastic items which were produced in Brazil, however if they were produced here, they had a very terrible smell. The plastic had the smell of burnt car brakes. It would leave your water tasting nasty. So, the cheaper, made in Brazil plastics were out of the question for certain items.

As I visited peoples houses I started to realize that there were a lot of empty  ice cream containers and used jars stacked and stashed around the houses. Plastic ice cream pots were doubles for just about everything you can imagine. The canned vegetable section of the store gave you even better options. Instead of buying a can of tomato paste, you could buy a jar of it, which was shaped just like a regular drinking cup. There were even some limited edition cups to be found in the corn section.

It didn't matter what it was, I had to learn to think twice about what I was throwing out. For most Brazilians, plastic cups are an unnecessary waste of money. The fact that my house has disposable cups is something most people laugh at, but there are some conveniences I am just not ready to give up. 

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