My brain is sucked dry by recycled air, my palate numbed by airplane cardboard paste food. I have absolutely no idea if it is day or night. The airhostess, in a red and blue uniform that recalls the female puppets on 1960s Thunderbirds cult space movie, offers me a drink.

"Yes please," I look down and see the two plastic cups I have already got. "Actually, you can put it in one of these cups."

"No, that’s okay. I will put it in a new cup," she replies curtly. "We will collect those and put them in the bin later."

"But I would prefer you to use one of these cups," I protest.

"It’s our policy to put drinks in new cups," she says pouring out my drink.

"But that just creates lots of unnecessary rubbish."

"It’s just one cup," she replies witheringly. "Everything else, paper, plates, food gets thrown away."

"But isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t we start to try and reduce rubbish somewhere….." I tail off as I notice other passengers looking strangely at me and feeling the tension I have created with the waitress.

I feel bad. After all I was making a fuss about one cup. A crumpled nothing in the swamps of rubbish no doubt created by the flight. I guess the cup became a symbol for me of an insane throw-away society. If it’s not a cup, where else do we start?