Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What a waste

Finally a national newspaper has started a campaign to put an end to unnecessary packaging of goods. The Independent's campaign has highlighted a problem which is getting worse. Junior environment minister Ben Bradshaw suggested consumers who do not want the waste that comes with supermarket produce can tear it off, leave it on the counter, and let the staff deal with it. More recently he has suggested that those who think their shops are wilfully adding to the volume of waste should report them to their local council, who have a responsibility for cutting pollution. What we need to complement any form of direct action by consumers is more stringent legislation banning unnecessary packaging. Perhaps it is something which the next MP to win the ballot to bring a Private Member's Bill before Parliament could put forward, possibly even with cross-party support.

1 comment:

Colin Campbell said...

Some of the packaging is driven by the requirement for accurate measurement of contents, full disclosure of contents related to food labelling requirements, protection against tampering, stock control and storage, use by dates. It is a difficult one for supermarkets. I am not sure what specific steps can be taken to address these very legitimate concerns. Here in Australia, the focus has been on reducing plastic bags and many companies have stopped providing them and/or charging for them. There is a strong culture of recycling in urban Australia and much of the "unnecessary" packaging will inevitably end up as recycling feedstock. In rural Australia it is much more problematic.