Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Food Packaging and a Simple Paper bag.

I don't know about you but I get fed up with the amount of packaging that our bought goods are subject to these days. Perhaps I am showing my age but I remember going into Woolworths as a little girl and my mum buying what biscuits she wanted and they were all packaged into a simple large paper bag. Even cakes were bought this way and cooked meats were wrapped in greasproof paper as was cheese. I remember wafer biscuits, not just the ones that we know today the pink ones, but different flavoured ones like vanilla, chocolate, coffee, strawberry and other selections to boot and they used to be long twice the size in length of the little pink biscuits we get today.
I think perhaps our manufacturers need to take a step backwards to actually move forward. Not only is the packaging excessive it is utilising materials that we don't necessarily need using for this purpose, which is taking a natural habitat somewhere, and removing the richness of wildlife wherever that may be. As a result of the extra packaging precious land is being used for landfill purposes, whereas a simple paper bag would rot down naturally even in a compost heap. It does not have to be complicated just simple. But to add insult to injury they now want to charge us for disposing of in the dustbin all the extra packaging that is being provided by the manufacturers. Come on people, get real, this is the real world we live in and we are only the custodians. Therefore it is imperative that we look after what we have in order to safeguard it for our children's children and the generations yet to come. Perhaps its about time we all started to request friendly biodegradeable packaging from our stores rather than letting them dictate what we are having. It would be nice if they offered paper bags so that we could make a choice of what we wanted our goods packaged in.
We have managed to get rid in most places of the orrible plastic bag with many of us reverting to a traditional shopping basket or a linen or cotton bag. The only place I use plastic bags are in my freezer. Bin liners are biodegradeable versions.

When I was a child, manufacturers took responsibility for their products and packaging. They had a simple bottle return scheme for lemonade and beer bottles. Why can't they reintroduce the scheme today to re-cycle as many bottles as is possible and get something back for taking the trouble to do so, and also bring in a scheme for recycling glass jars on a similar basis.

There was the Corona man who delivered pop as a treat every so often and then latterly there was the milkman who also delivered pop and other bits and bobs especially round Christmas. They always took the empties back.

I also remember when Sainsburys first opened in Peterborough they used to provide large
brown paper sacks for packaging your bought goods in and they were fab. The beauty of those sorts of bags is they can always be recycled.

The other problem with waste is that not everybody takes responsibility for it or disposes of it in a proper manner which causes problems for land owners and also wildlife alike. This is why I think the main responsibility should lie with the manufacturer because if the wrong environmental packaging is put out and about it will only multiply and get where it shouldn't be, where if safe sensible packaging were used it at all times it could be disposed of in a proper manner and not harm our lives, environments or our wildlife.


  1. Totally agree!
    How much more can they put onto the consumer. We try to do our bit and recycle whenever possible, but like many, we know of refuse lorries that come along and tip all the carefully recycled waste into one lorry. Why have we wasted OUR time prising labels and lids off and why are WE the ones who get fined for transgressing the locally laid down instructions. Because, surely, if this was a properly worked out plan ALL areas would be recycling the same things in the same way. And they don't. So they can hardly be surprised when people throw up their hands and say Why bother!

    It HAS to come down the manufacturers changing their practices. It's another problem in having to import so much of our goods. Things have to be packed to withstand travel. But we'll carry on doing our bit and hope that common sense may one day return.

  2. I agree with you whole heartedly. I purchased toilet paper last week, I buy the large packages, 16 rolls, when they are on sale. Upon opening it I find, there are four inner packages of four rolls apiece. This is toilet paper, for heavens sake, it goes down the sewer, why does it need to be wrapped twice.
    I could go on an on but space does not allow for all of the complaints that I have about excess packaging.
    I use the cloth bags for my groceries and also carry one in my purse for purchases at other stores.


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