It’s disgusting


Dear Highpoint,

We don’t have much reason to visit your shopping centre, especially now that Borders is no more.

However, today I was up there to get a Medicare rebate, and to save myself another stop on the way home I had lunch in the food court.

Not bad, actually. Well, passable anyway. Noodles, beef curry, five-spice calamari for under $10.

Like the many other hundreds of hungry shoppers, I ate using plastic, disposable cutlery from a plastic, disposable plate.

The more I thought about it, the more depressed I became.

Depressed thinking about the no-doubt thousands of meals served at your two food courts every day. Seven days a week. Year after year after year.

I have no objection to your establishment being a high altar of consumerism. I can and do go there myself.

But the disposable plastic ware that comes with your food delivery is a waste of epic proportions.

Frankly, it’s disgusting.

And even if it is all legal and proper, truth is it is morally wrong.

Is there not a better way?

Can your management, parent company, whoever not think of the bigger picture and be a better community citizen?

Whatever pain, financial or otherwise, that is endured while fixing this ridiculous situation will – in the end – more than repay itself in terms of goodwill and the ability to say: “It was hard – but we did the right thing.”

Cheers, Kenny Weir, Consider The Sauce

17 thoughts on “It’s disgusting

  1. That would mean hiring more staff—something that seems to be a no-no for companies today—and buying a dishwasher. I’m with you. Particularly, I can’t stand the plastic cutlery. It’s useless. I’d rather buy Chinese food, as I don’t mind those disposable wooden chopsticks.


    • Caron, I know that in their own minds they’re locked into the current set-up. But I’m not convinced it would be THAT much more expensive, and as I say in my letter to them, there are upsides for the company. I suspect the problem actually goes back to the designers of the original concept, in the US IIRC, who no doubt left such nicities out of their scheming quite knowingly and deliberately.

      Let’s see what sort of response I get. If any!


      • Yes, interesting. Americans, of course, have a very long history of using disposable crockery and cutlery and many even use it at home. I was shocked in the 1970s when we lived there and I’d go round to a school mate’s house for dinner… and it would be ‘TV dinners’ with plastic forks. The height of modern living, they thought. The plastic ware is one of my pet peeves on planes, too. That stupid stuff about metal cutlery being a security risk—and yet, it’s OK for women to wear stiletto heels.


      • It really is all very depressing – just the sheer mindless endless spewing waste of it all. And as you, me and Gord all have long histories in newspapers, it’s not like we’re immune from criticism either. Stiletto heels? Never tried them. Prefer chopsticks! 🙂


  2. Great post – totally agree with your thoughts and Caron’s comments.

    And BTW – did you know you can lodge your Medicare claims either via phone or internet, thereby removing the need to visit a Medicare office ever again!


    • Thanks, Keri. Yeah, I know all that. Was of half a mind to set it up while I was in there today, but in the end just wanted to get the hell OUT. Maybe we should set up a big lunch date at Highpoint and all take our own crockery, knives, forks etc.


      • Ha ha! I would be up for that! Disposable stuff depresses me no end. I hate it even more in a stand-alone eat-in establishment where there is no central food court eating zone that could be used as an excuse to not supply crockery and cutlery.

        When I was a kid, I am sure shopping centre food court shops had actual plates with their logos on them. The cleaning ladies would take them back to the appropriate shop.


      • Yes, well it’s a bit of a giveaway that downstairs there’s a whole slew of places – Pancake Parlour, Grill’d, China Bar, Nando’s and so on – that do the right thing. I agree – it gets even smellier when places like my local charcoal chicken shop use polystyrene and plastic. Which is why when I’m in the mood for that kind of thing (hungover), I head for the one in Racecourse Rd!

        Ha! When I was a kid, there were no shopping centres! 🙂


  3. You know, it IS depressing that there are now NO bookstores at Highpoint at all, unless you include the ABC bookstore, which I don’t as it’s just about TV, after all.

    As someone who’s lived in the West forever, I have to say that we will be the last to change. We don’t feel deserving of better things, most of us dont even know that there’s the potential for anything better.

    Food courts suck your soul… But they are convenient, for sure.

    I hope things change…


    • Jo, I agree – it is not only depressing there are no book shops at Highpoint; it is STAGGERING. I used to be able to trick myself it was tolerable knowing a half-hour of book browsing could be built into each visit, but now … 😦 Nor is there one at centres in Point Cook or Sunshine. NOR in Footscray central.

      I wish the small shops in Yarraville and Williamstown well, but you know …

      Mind you, even the Melbourne CBD is not looking good these days. Which makes the reopening of Readers Feast very cool indeed!

      And lest we all turn this into a total downer, let’s not forget the many western riches of the kind we celebrate here at Consider The Sauce.

      About a year ago, I had a job interview in Brighton. It’d been YEARS since I’d been on that side of town. I had time to spare, so wandered around gawking, window shopping … those houses, those cars, those people.

      But you know what? I was also saying to myself: “Half and hour’s drive the nearest bowl of pho? To HELL with that!”

      Frankly, I couldn’t wait to get home!


  4. Hey Jo and Kenny. I’ve always been a book fan too – and I’m sad there are so few bookshops out west – but maybe we’re just stuck in the past?

    Perhaps it’s like being nostalgic for LPs and cassettes. CDs and downloadable mp3s didn’t mean people stopped listening to music.

    It could be that people are actually reading more than ever before on PCs and their iphones!


    • I love book shops, of course, and hanging out in them. But the truth is, I have moved on. Apart from scifi/horror/fantasy/thrillers for entertainment, a lot of my reading is so arcane – biographies, music, history, philosophy, that even at the height of the big book shop thing here no one stocked what I wanted anyway. Have long looked to Amazon or Amazon Marketplace for books old and new.


      • Yes, I agree. I’ve long been ordering from Amazon and now, if I can, I get a book for my e-reader rather than my groaning book cases. BUT, I still love browsing in bookshops. There’s nothing like being able to actually hold the book (and I’m often tempted to buy, still). We have a dearth of book shops here in Northcote. The plaza has nothing. High St has a few nice second-hand book shops and one arty book shop-cum-cafe. But I’m desperate for a Readings-type book shop here.


  5. Great post, I hope it makes an impression. For anyone wanting to skip the plastic I think ‘sushi sushi’ will give you a couple of hand rolls in a paper bag, and am I right that ‘muffin break’ uses proper plates for scones/coffee etc? I haven’t been there for awhile.


    • Colette, I think the sort-of Italian foccacia/pasta place does real crockery, too. I’d actually be interested to know how much of the food is prepared at Highpoint – I half suspect a lot is shipped in, given the uniformity of food and branding across shopping centres.


  6. I think it’s still the case at the vic market that the deli lane stalls have real crockery and cutlery which is marked with each stall’s name/ logo/ mark and collected and washed collectively and returned to them. It can be done.
    and re bookshops – The Sun in Yarraville is going strong – I plan to do all my christmas shopping there as usual… and you can buy online from readings – in fact they have a free postage offer on at the moment.


    • Janet, I think it’s great the Sun bookshop and other indie littlies are doing good. What I’m interested in knowing, though, is whether the loss of Borders to the likes of Highpoint is perceived by them as a blow – major, minor or otherwise – given the changing faces of the west. It may not seem a big deal to you, but my own feelings have been echoed by several of my friends – that is, what was palatable is now a horror.


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