Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Bloody Packaging

I've been a bit of an eco-hippy in some ways for years. I've recycled glass and paper as long as I can remember. I drive a small engined car, and don't make too many unnecessary journeys. Etc etc etc.

I could go on - many would. I'm not trying to preach though. I'm just trying to set the scene (so to say). After all I like Italy and fly there every now and again to recharge my batteries.

But packaging irritates the hell out me. Okay I can recycle a good deal of it, but why is there so much of it. I try to avoid much of it - not buying items that are overly packaged, but it is annoying.

I prefer to buy fresh produce - ideally from a market stall. So one of my gripes is easily avoidable - that of individual shrink-wrapped vegetables and fruit. These really are baffling to me. Why plastic wrap fruit and veg? I can just about cope with supermarkets attaching little sticky labels to apples telling me they are apples - okay, I am being flippant, they do say which type of apples they are.

But one of the worst I have seen was a cooking sauce. I'm not saying which one, partly because I am a coward and don't want to risk any comeback, and also because for the life of me I cannot remember. I didn't buy any so I can't go check. But - here goes...

Talk one jar of sauce. Simple glass jar with a lid, sealed. Surely that's enough. However these jars were then partly enclosed in a cut-away cardboard box (one with a hole in the front to allow you to see the jar I guess. Little bit of overkill - well, yes. But that's not all. Two of these boxed-jars were sellophaned together with a buy-one-get-one-free message.

Now I like bargains. I especially like something that is free. But I can count, I possess good reasoning skills. Just putting a sign on the shelf would have let me know of the offer. Then I could rely on my inbuilt ability to count to TWO, or some multiple of two. It's not a difficult task.

These is not unusual though. I have seen so many bits of unnecessary bits of wrapping applied to items on supermarket shelves. Toothpaste and puree tubes (with seals) encased on cardboard boxes. Surely the tube is enough. DVDs and CDs shrink-wrapped in plastic (these things do come with cases and part of the bargain).

This list could be endless. I'm guessing just about everyone who's ever walked into a supermarket in England (or any other western country I'd guess) will have seen hundreds of these. We don't need this stuff.

We can brush our teeth even if we have to buy the toothpaste without a box. We can still make stir-fries and casseroles if the sauce doesn't have three layer wrapped round it. We can still cook peppers that have not had to be freed from a plastic outer skin (okay we might have to wash them a little, but ooh - that's tough).

Okay, rant over. You can come out of the shadows now. No need to hide behind the sofa as though Doctor Who was on and the monsters were scary. I'll let you get back to normality.

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