Too much plastic today…


On my way back from visiting a client I called into the supermarket to buy some milk, and browse the reduced sections. I like to buy a balance of what I need and what is reduced, but I tend to avoid nonsense processed stuff. I also try and avoid heavily plastic-packaged stuff, but it seems today it was unavoidable:

Milk in a plastic milk carton is unavoidable, gone are the days of glass bottles, and cardboard cartons, while are recyclable are in fact a composite, not just cardboard. I wonder how much energy goes into making and recycling these types of materials compared with old glass bottles.

Then the reduced items:

First up, we have aubergines and pears, all wrapped in plastic film. Ick. The pears were also in a cardboard tray – I prefer my fruit and veg loose but when they’re going cheap it’s hard to say no.

Then I found a pack of sandwiches, and bread roles. The sandwiches are seemingly in a cardboard box, with plastic film window, but actually the cardboard is lines with the plastic film throughout. The bread rolls were in plastic wrap, the kind that is labelled as “Not currently recycled”. I also bought a loaf of bread that was reduced and this is in a bread bag that can be recycled with carrier bags – why can’t all bread and rolls be in this type?

Finally, meat. At the supermarket it’s impossible to buy meat that isn’t supplied in plastic, and it’s not simple plastic either, it’s often now a substantial plastic tray that admittedly can be recycled, but is then wrapped over with plastic film – I wash and separate the two and then recycle the tray and put the film in a sack which I then take to the recycling centre (which probably ends up in landfill) rather than send it directly to landfill myself. I have thought about giving up eating meat but it seems my diet would then significantly lack calories and cost me more money to make up for the deficiencies.

I wonder, is plastic-wrapped food…

  • All for freshness?
  • All to aid transportation?
  • All for healthiness?
  • All for convenience?

I think the use of plastic gives the impression of these things, by looking ‘nice’ and well presented, but the harm its wide use and disposal of is causing, and will cause the environment in the long-run, is often over-looked. Even recycling materials costs energy and causes harm to the environment, whether it be paper, metal cans, glass jars and bottles or plastic containers.

Then back at home, after scoffing the sandwiches, it was time for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to visit me again – it’s a weekly thing for me. This time only one called round today for the chat and discussion, but he had remembered to bring me a copy of the Bible he had promised – I had been squinting my way through one of those tiny ones which only contains the New Testament. But would you believe it, the Bible was shrink-wrapped! I laughed and playfully voiced my objections – plastic is the work of Satan!


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