Small good news from vacation plastic-alypse

Hubby and I got back from a trip to Paris and Cologne, and boy did I blow through some plastic. I even drank some bottled water — which I’d normally not do — because the available tap options were unclear and I don’t even want to think about plastic table wear.

But there are a couple of bits of good news for those who might follow.

  1. Paris is trying to promote its own water. It’s quite delicious. While asking for a carafe of water is common knowledge in restaurants, it’s harder to find public fountains. I noticed that a potable water tap is included on the exterior of the new generation of sidewalk-side toilets now being installed in many neighborhoods.
  2. All the fruit I bought came in thin paper — not plastic — bags.
  3. Paris Metro was a wonderful value. We used carnets of tickets, bought at ticket booths. The tickets were not padded or packaged, but simply a pile of paper and magnetic-strip tickets. Nice.

Water in Paris

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I hope you had fun in Paris. We have been talking about spending some time there, but cash flow will have to improve first.

    What kind of signage is there around the potable water taps?

  2. By the time the cash flow improves, these water taps might be ready. Many are clearly just now being installed. They were on the side opposite the door of a new kind of public toilet. Not the older oval ones; these new ones look more — um — streamlined Art Nouveau.

    Here’s a picture from the Wall Street Journal. Again, the water tap is on the other side and are very inconspicuous.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.