I was shopping this week and it was nearing dinner time (I should have remembered my Nan’s advice “ never go shopping when you are hungry”) so picked up something from the freezer to take home to heat up for dinner.
It was a potato product with four pieces in the packet.
Whe I opened up the pack I was pleasantly surprised to find that the four pieces were the only thing in the packet.
Why was I so surprised?
The last time I did the same thing (I really should take my Nan’s advice!!!!!!) the cardboard pack contained a plastic bag, which then contained a plastic tray, which then contained the actual food. Three lots of packaging for a product weighing less than 400g. Why?
To make it worse, that was not an isolated incident – most packed frozen food are done in much the same way.
I can buy a frozen product from the UK, with only one type of packaging, which has travelled thousands of kilometres and it arrives perfectly fine in my home.
Why are other manufacturers adding to our ridiculous waste problem by using so much more packaging than is needed? It is not only an environmental issue but a cost to these businesses.
What would make them pay all the extra for the unneeded packaging?
There has to be a change in how manuafacturers are developing their products and the associated packaging to reduce their costs and the impact their product and businesses are having on the environment. Until that happens waste and costs will continue to increase.
It is like a business I know which is about to build a new building and is not making sustainability the most important part of the design process.
Most people think of sustainability as being all about being green and environmentally friendly.
It is not about that at all – it is basically about saving money.
The only problem with it, is that it sometimes requiring spending money in the short term to be able to get significant savings in the long term. There is always more money saved / earnt than it costs to set it done.
Businesses and their managers must be prepared to take the long term view.
Like these packaged up manufacturers, most businesses do not do full and complete cost benefit analyses as part of the design process – whether it be for new building or food products.
This full cost benefit analysis must have the sustainability impact and costs included, or we will continue to get the stupidity of building with lights on all day and the resulting electricity usage (instead of free lighting from skylights) or food products with three type of packaging.