There are a few moral conundrums drug dealers have to brush off for their line of work but the environment, apparently, is no longer one of them.
2018 was the year we all became obsessed with plastic – or rather, a desire to get rid of it. Inspired by devastating scenes in Blue Planet II, images of seahorses riding Q-tips, and stories of whales washing up with 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of plastic in their bellies, we – as a society – decided it was time to get our act together and tackle the plastic crisis currently choking our oceans. One that could see seas with more plastic than fish by 2050, if we’re not careful.
In response, countries and cities including India, the UK, and Seattle have announced bans on single-use plastic bags, single-use plastic straws, and, in some cases, single-use plastic full stop. There has been so much attention given to the cause of late that Collins Dictionary even awarded “single-use” word of the year in November.
Now, it appears Birmingham’s drug dealers are in on the action. According to reports in the Metro, some of the city’s dealers are making valiant efforts to package goods in reusable containers to appear more eco-friendly. This means that instead of a bog-standard baggie or a clingfilm wrap, customers in Birmingham, UK, will be able to pick up their drugs in plastic vials, which can then be washed out and refilled.
Not everyone sees the point. One cocaine user in Birmingham told the Metro he thought his dealer was joking when he was handed a gram of cocaine in a plastic pod.
“I thought he was joking but he was serious, he reckoned they used so many plastic baggies and paper and a reusable container would be easier than wrapping up individual wraps,” he said.
“I told him I was not bothered about the environment and surely cocaine itself can’t be that be eco-friendly but he reckoned he had a load of hipster customers and they loved it.”
He has a good point. Plastic-use aside, the drug industry has a poor track record when it comes to the environment. If you were to also neglect the extremely high human cost of cocaine for example, there is still the alarming rate of deforestation, the dispersal of toxic chemicals, and the damage done to local wildlife (not to mention our health and the surrounding land) to consider. According to one report, drug trafficking is directly responsible for up to 30 percent of deforestation in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala.
But hey, at least you can now buy your coke in reusable containers.