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To think that supermarkets have an excessive amount of packaging

(16 Posts)
Reallytired Tue 21-Aug-07 16:53:08

I think that tescos use an excessive amount of packaging for their food. Making supermarkets reduce the amount of pointless packaging would reduce the need for landfill, especially as a lot of the packaging cannot be recycled.

I would like the governant to tax supermarkets, factories on the amount of non recyclable packaging they use. Why does everything have to wrapped up in plastic.

I think it would be more effective than charging household owners for taking away non recylcable rubbish.

evenhope Tue 21-Aug-07 17:03:19

If the govt taxes supermarkets, who do you think they will pass the cost to?

I agree with reducing packaging on non-food items like the printer cartridge I bought recently in a bag a box and a plastic bubble.

BUT these constant demands about food packaging, does no-one remember the 1980s? Packaging was increased because a variety of pressure groups decided to contaminate food on supermarket shelves, including babyfood. Using extra packaging prevents people tampering with food.

margoandjerry Tue 21-Aug-07 17:14:44

Doesn't explain why toothpaste needs to come in a box though. It now has a seal to keep it secure from tampering - the box is just for marketing.

And why do avocados now only come in plastic trays of three wrapped in plastic? Not for security as the plastic has holes in it to allow the fruit to breathe. Again, just marketing because they are all now sold as "ripe and ready to eat" when they are actually rock hard or those weird watery ripe ones. Sainsburys guilty of this.

Reallytired Tue 21-Aug-07 17:18:04

I fully appreciate that supermarkets will pass the cost to the customers. I don't think this is a bad thing.

However the pressure for supermarkets to be competitive will make them look at ways of making packaging more recycable.

For example why does packaging have to be clear see through plastic boxes that can't be reccyled.

Could customers not be encouraged to re use plastic bags and maybe we could have more substantial plastic boxes that could be returned and recyled rather like milk bottles. Prehaps like fizz bottles customers could get 5p back for returning their packaging to be sterilized and reused.

LoveAngel Tue 21-Aug-07 17:21:01

The shrink wrapped individual peppers in Morrisons drive me mad. Why??????? M&S is shocking, too.

Kathyis6incheshigh Tue 21-Aug-07 17:21:51

Supermarkets passing cost to customers - well, maybe, but they have been making huge profits and it is a very competitive market.
It may actually end up coming out of profits rather than going on the prices -depends what they can get away with.

LoveAngel Tue 21-Aug-07 17:25:55

On a similar issue - I was in Ireland recently and most of the supermarkets there don't offer more than 2 plastic carrier bags per customer. Everyone brings their own reusable shoping bags or trolleys, and there doesn't seem to be any fuss about it, its just seen as normal.

Reallytired Tue 21-Aug-07 17:27:50

I was in France and there were (shock! horror!) No plastic bags and far less packaging.

The French don't seem to be dying as result of lack of packaging for food.

hippipotami Tue 21-Aug-07 20:30:54

I grew up in Holland and in Germany, and in both you returned empty bottles to the store and received money back on them. They were then sent off to be washed/sterilised/refilled.
It was/is the norm. Also, I don't remember ever getting plastic bags in supermarkets there. My mum always - from my earliest memory - used a huge wicker basket. She still uses it now.

I hate all the excess packaging. It is bad enough coming home from shopping and having to put all the groceries away, without having to spend ages unwrapping it all first!

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Tue 21-Aug-07 20:50:57

this too drives me mad, in a bid to try and recycle as much as possible i find it so hard when they excessively package everything. have you tried farmers markets/local markets for fruit and veg instead, no packaging there!! althought i do get odd looks when telling them not to use plastic bags as iv brought my own cloth ones!

TheDuchessOfNorksBride Tue 21-Aug-07 20:51:12

And why do I get funny looks when I produce my myriad of shopping bags (including MN ones ) at the till - even in shops that charge for plastic carrier bags and sell bags-for-life? Do the staff not know why they are bags-for-life?

Thank heavens my local farmers market is opening again next month.

TheDuchessOfNorksBride Tue 21-Aug-07 20:51:41


MsHighwater Tue 21-Aug-07 20:55:18

There is an alternative to the excess packaging of the supermarket - local shops. Some places still have a butcher, baker, greengrocer, fishmonger, hardware shop, etc, etc.

When you buy stuff from these places you get less packaging and what you buy is more likely to have come from your local area so fewer food miles.

Yes, I know it can be a pain to go to lots of different shops and you might have to go to the supermarket for some things depending on what's in your high street but it really is worth a try. You don't have to buy 6 tomatoes if you want 5, or 12 rolls if you want 7, etc. That means less waste.

I think a lot of the stuff you buy is better as well - perhaps because instead of being "fresh-looking" it's actually fresh!

With the recent E-coli 0157 scare involving the deli counter at 2 Morrison's stores in Paisley, there's never been a better time to rebel against the tyranny of the supermarkets.

pointydog Tue 21-Aug-07 20:56:05

I was impressed by the lack of packaging in France and no free bags at all, you had to reuse or pay for a new one. That's how it should be.

Reallytired Wed 22-Aug-07 10:48:41

What do you think about this?

I think it would be expensive to set up and I could imagine some nasty yobs putting loads of rubbish in our elderly neighbour's wheelie bin.

evenhope Wed 22-Aug-07 18:17:01

I don't think it would work. People will just fly tip even more. They won't reduce council tax either- you'd have to be on cloud cuckoo land to believe that.

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