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Packaging's curse--bad press blues

{easycomments}Website, The Daily Green, wails on wasteful food packaging, no mention of single households demographics or convenience.
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FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
     
It always breaks my heart to read the latest diatribe on wrap rage or landfills. Very little mention in the consumer press about sustainability efforts or packaging being called on to fight world hunger .

No, it’s much easier to be semi-informed and take pot shots at packaging. The latest came yesterday from website The Daily Green, which bills itself as “the consumer’s guide to the green revolution."

In a piece entitled “Absurdly Wasteful Food Packaging,” author Julie Gerstein calls out eight especially vile offenders—most for single serve offerings.

No, we are not perfect. Some companies still do over package. But it becomes increasingly clear that it just does not pay for a company to produce “absurdly wasteful packaging.” They simply cannot afford to.

The issue is not black and white. One of Gerstein’s examples is single serve raisins in a box—a crime! Yet, how do you prepare a child’s lunch for school each day? We used to crank out four a day, rising at 5:30 to get started. Raisins in a single serve box were a godsend. She suggests buying a larger portion container and transfer the raisins to a smaller, reusable container.

I’ve got four kids. Half the time the reusable containers never made it back home. And when they did, how much energy, water and detergent was used to clean them?

Thought you would be interested in the response I posted today:


The Danger of being semi-informed

Please do a little homework. In the 70s and 80s bulk packaging was the rage. Turns out, there was nowhere to store your 96 oz. salsa container. Consumers on the go, especially moms, demand single serve. Shifting demographics to single households demand smaller portions that stay fresh. Great strides are being made in sustainability (check out www.greenerpackage.com). Heck, packaging has been suggested as one of the most effective tools for ending world hunger. Many companies are investing millions in source reduction--thinner container walls, post-recycled content. It's easy to take swipes at bottled water. What do you think the people of Haiti think about bottled water now?


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