More on overpackaging of food

In response to “Buying and Eating Green”, my friend David sent article from the Independent.  It is so timely, that I thought I would post it (or you can read it at The Independent).  It goes to show that we Armarikens are not alone in the fight against overpackaging.

Supermarket packaging: How you can fight back

By Andy McSmith

Published: 25 January 2007

So you think that there is nothing you can do, as a lone consumer pitted against powerful commercial interests, about the annoying, wasteful and environmentally damaging volume of packaging you bring home with your shopping? But you are not alone. The Government is on your side.

Britain runs the risk of huge EU fines unless it reduces the amount of waste it buries in landfill sites. Trading standards officers also object to excessive packaging because too much padding can give buyers a false impression of what they are buying. Here, then, are a few things you can do: * If it is over-packaged, don’t buy it. That the first and simplest advice from the professionals. If consumers won’t buy it, suppliers will have to stop selling it in all that wrapping.* If you do buy it, rip the packaging off and leave it on the counter. This suggestion was made by the Environment Minister, Ben Bradshaw. Supermarkets have to accept that if the packaging stays in their shops, it’s their responsibility.* Complain. But remember it is probably not the store manager’s fault: the goods will have arrived over-packaged. The culprit is the company whose brand name is on the label.* Ring 08454 040 506. That is a line operated by Consumer Direct, a government-funded organisation run by the Office of Fair Trading. They will want your contact details, and details of what you bought and where, and will pass the complaint to trading standards officers.* If you run a small business involved in packaging goods, there is a number to call for free advice. Envirowise is a government-funded service that is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses to waste less. They can be reached on 0800 585 794 and their website is at www.envirowise.gov.uk. 

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2 Comments

  1. Keith David said,

    February 2, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    I’m so sick of excessive packaging I have set up the site http://www.overpackaging.com
    The aim is to get photos of over packaged products, show them on the site, contact the manufacturer and get them to explain themselves. The responses are shown on the site, if they have a good excuse then they can say it, if they fail to respond or give a half baked answer everyone can just make their own minds up.

  2. ANNE BUCKLAND said,

    March 19, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Just bought Fiar Trade ORGANIC bananas from Morrisons Newlands Glasgow…in plastic bags!!! First why do bananas need bags, the plastic offers no additional protection, the price could be put on a sticker…and the whol point of buying organic is to help the planet, not help destroy it. I left the packaging on the counter and complained, but definitely got the feeling from customer services that this is not an issue they care about- Peppers in plastic as well..what is that all about. If we are going to have our bins emptied less and be charged for it- let’s leave it on the counter and then they might pay attention….and the government shoulf start fining the supermarkets and the manufacturers before they fine the poor old consumer!!!But of course as usual the government doesn’t want to upset its rich supermarket pals!


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