Sangeet Bálint Gupta gave an interview to Klubrádió last Wednesday, after he had been denied to use a box brought from home when ordering his take-away lunch.
“I took my own box because they provide polystyrene containers and I didn’t want to use them,” Sangeet explained in the radio programme. “I told them that I would throw the box out in two minutes anyway, because I will put the food on a plate,” he added.
He was told that it was a health and safety regulation and he had to go home empty-handed in the end. At home, Sangeet made a post about the incident on Facebook. His post was later sent to the store manager, who eventually modified the regulation in consultation with the authorities, so that it is now possible to take away food in boxes brought from home, provided the box is “visibly clean”.
The reason for the popularity of the polystyrene box is that it is cheap and convenient, but its decomposition time is between 500 and 1 million years, making it one of the most polluting plastics.
The Food Chain Safety Agency has also commented on the matter, and said that they are not enthusiastic about the use of boxes from home, because if they do not have the proper hygiene, they may pose food safety risks, but neither the European Union, nor domestic legislations prohibit their use.
The full podcast can be accessed here.
About Sangeet Bálint Gupta
Sangeet took his A-levels a Szent István High School his summer. During his high school years Hungarian literature and mathematics were amongst his favourite subjects. He took higher level exams in the latter. He comes from an ethnically mixed background; his mother has been brought up in the Great Hungarian Plain, his father in the streets of New Delhi and Sangeet in the village of Csömör next to Pest. His favourite past time activities are badminton, amateur jungling and listening to music of all styles. He also enjoys organizing, especially when it comes to camps or one-day events. Sangeet is particularly interested in world affairs and everything which focuses on improving our society. Sangeet had been a student of the Milestone Institute in Budapest for four years, where he focused on political sciences and psychology. He will continue his studies at the University of Bath this Autum studying psychology. His goal would be to return back home, if possible, after graduation.
Speed-interview with Sangeet
- Grilled sausage with bread or chips? Both use starch, but I prefer chips.
- Where would you like to live? In quieter districts of Budapest, perhaps in one of the villages next to the city
- Which living person do you admire the most? Anyone who does his/her best to fulfil his/her own potential, whatever it may be.
- What’s the best thing about India and about Hungary? In India, food and smiles; in Hungary the language and literature.
- If you were to die and return as a different person or as an object, what would you choose? Candle as it provides light and is most often present in emotional situations.
- What’s your favourite street? Ajtósi Dürer sor, the street between my school and the city park.
The inspiration for the questions came from “the most famous questionnaire in the world”, which is named after Marcel Proust (1871-1922), the famous French writer. Proust replied to the questions of the then fashionable board game for the first time at a birthday party at the age of 13, he then repeated the questionnaire about seven years later. This version became known as “Marcel Proust par lui-même” (“Marcel Proust About Himself”). The questions have since been a huge success. The “questionnaire” has been transformed several times. The questions presented here have also been modified in line with the needs of the interviewee and the reader.