It’s about time we questioned all the common misconceptions about packaging and materials.
Here are a few facts:
- We use packaging because food and other goods are grown and produced in one place and used in another. If we could get peas from the field onto the plate without packaging, manufacturers would because their peas would be cheaper than their competitors.
We have excellent waste management systems in the UK. Let’s take personal responsibility for not littering and for making sure we put our waste out carefully for collection for recycling or other treatment.
All packaging materials have environmental pros and cons, none has a monopoly of environmental virtues. Paper is not ‘better’ than plastic or vice versa. One of the polymers currently being attacked is Expanded Polystyrene – it has the lowest carbon footprint of any polymer because it is 98% air.
Recycling has its limits. It has its own impact – energy, water and other resources are used to collect, sort and clean waste. It only makes sense to recycle when it saves more resources than it uses.
Packaging that is difficult to recycle still delivers a net environmental benefit in protecting more resources than it uses and preventing more waste than it generates.
Do you have anymore?