Not Evangelism

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Bonus: BBC's One Show on Excess Food Packaging

I publish articles every Monday (cycling), Wednesday (user experience) and Friday (pragmatic environmentalism). Other days I might write if I've something particularly burning-important to say.

This evening's episode of BBC's The One Show featured a segment on excess food packaging that, once again, missed the point.

In the piece, a spokeswoman from the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) argued that the use of plastic packaging was a Good Thing as it helped to prevent food waste. She claimed that "our" buying habits (that is, buying weekly or less frequently, rather than daily) means that we need packaging to keep food fresh until we eat it.

The point she so neatly dodged is that food waste - whilst lamentable and quite avoidable - is both bio-degradable and produced from sources that are entirely renewable.  The vast majority of food packaging, by contrast, is plastic-based; derived from oil and neither bio-degradable nor renewable.

In fact, food waste is quite often perpetuated by the supermarket habit of packaging food into "conveniently-sized" portions that suit their transport and shelf space arrangements rather than the needs of customers.

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