A little help with the packaging please.

September 14, 2009

We are destroying our planet. That much must now be obvious to even the most ignorant of us. We are using up all of our natural resources and drowning in our own waste. Constantly we are been told that we must recycle. It will soon be law that we recycle everything that possibly can be recycled from our household waste. This, I think is the least that we can do.

Let us take a look at what our waste actually consists of. There will be food waste, junk mail, old newspapers and a host of other random household items. The majority however will be made up of packaging. Our society is obsessed with packaging. Some of this is for obvious reasons. It would be hard for us to take home soup without the tin for example. Some of the packaging is designed so that we can put it away in our cupboards easily. This is very nice of the companies but I’m sure if it meant using less packaging, therefore fewer resources we could all live with the slight inconvenience.

Plastic seems to be our planets nemesis at the moment. It takes centuries to decompose and very little of it is readily recyclable. This is because the process of recycling the plastics that are recyclable is both complex and expensive. This is a problem that is been addressed but it will take time. The biggest problem with plastics however is that our society is obsessed with them.

Due to the fact that we are so concerned with freshness we wrap a lot of our food products in plastic. Not just once but repeatedly. Yes we all like our food to be fresh but is all of this extra packaging really adding to keep the product as fresh as possible or is this just an illusion? Do we think that the food is fresher simply because it appears that more effort has gone into making it look that way?

A big burden is been put on the individual to recycle and rightly so. But we need help. This is not something that we can do on our own. Pressure needs to be put onto companies to reduce their packaging. If we have less to recycle then the problem itself is reduced.

Someone should mention to the manufacturers of these products that as an added incentive they would save money too. Maybe this would make them pay attention.