Waste not, want not

(Images from the video in the BBC article)

Seattle, Washington is implementing a new rule that will punish people who waste too much food. The fine (how much they’ll have to pay) may surprise you. Read more about it here: “Seattle to fine residents and businesses for wasting food” (from the BBC). Read a few comments from the city council here: “Seattle government will have agents looking through your trash” (from My Northwest).

Is this a good idea? Or is it too much government control? Is the fine appropriate, or should they try to collect more/less? Do you think Tokyo should do something similar?

“Waste not, want not” is an English idiom that, in some ways, is the closest translation to “mottainai”, perhaps. It means if you don’t waste, you won’t want for anything (in other words, you will always have enough).

Apparently, it’s a phrase that originated in the 18th century, although an older iteration, “Willful waste makes woeful want” is from the 16th century. Seems like people have been wasting for a very, very long time.

Past posts about waste (or rather, trying not to waste):


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