Now that we are hopefully on the back of covid it might be time to look at our food packaging again and how much we waste and right across the consumer board not just on what we eat and drink. When you think of the singular use plastics, the micro plastics in seafood and all those trees being cut down for our cardboard it really is a no brainer that everyone should embrace the circular economy. In a nutshell this is making things last as long as possible before having to dispose of them and preferably to be recycled. The recent price hike should focus the mind even more. The mountain of unecofriendly boxes will be piled high across the land today.
Previous generations would never throw away boxes and wrapping, I saw my mother use the same paper for wrapping several presents and copy books never mind food plastic containers being washed and stored for future use, a habit I too have inherited.
Working in food I am even more conscious on how to recycle. It’s not being frugal or stingy, just plain common sense. Just look at all the resources and energy that goes into producing a simple water bottle or pizza box. Some people still do not want to know however. We can protest all we like about climate change but it’s us who must change in fact.
If I am going somewhere I have an old fashioned flask that provides me with my hot drink exactly how I like it and for a lot less cost. The throwaway Gen Z’s do look at me like I am from outer space when they giggle at the absurdity of my old man action in their eyes.
The reusable cup initiative got a bit sidelined by the pandemic with the cross contamination risks from cafes and shops but we should be back at it now in earnest. The so called conscious cup campaign has just been reignited I see and a levy on cups is coming anyway. The supermarkets are at long last starting to wake up to the packaging issue; we led the way on our plastic bags checkout tax. The next time you unload your shopping have a long hard look at all the wrapping.
I am an unapologetic pontificator on this subject, a hobby horse I have been up and running on since the nineties with both solar panels on my roof and not having had a bin collection in twenty years with a full home waste recycle and composting system in place separating at source, hoarding it all in the garden shed and traipsing to my local recycle centre half a dozen times a year for two Euros a pop. Twelve quid a year on waste compared to the few hundred you will pay the bin company; the maths is simple in the savings. For apartments a mini version of it is possible working with other dwellers which I have seen abroad so no excuses on that front either. The lack of sufficient numbers of local authority recycling centres is a deterrent for sure. People are just too busy in their daily lives to make it a priority anyway.
I just do not get it how everyone does not at least try it just to see how they do. Cancel the bin company or trash man and just go for it. You have to accumulate less in the first place and most waste comes from food or its packaging regardless. I think it will be forced on us anyway soon so you may as well start now.
If you buy your groceries without thinking about all the packaging involved and you have online deliveries and takeaways coming through your door on a daily rate then you have a problem. I have neither. So start with the little things, it’s all about attitude and determination to make your little difference to the planet’s future.