It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short life products and then just dumping them back into the ground.
“It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, it’s just so last century.” (Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21st 2005)
Some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, but so much packaging we use is unnecessary…
It’s unnecessarily expensive – you pay for your overpriced, over packaged item then pay through your council tax for them to dispose of your rubbish & recycling.
It’s unnecessarily wasteful – Its production, storage, transport and disposal.
It’s unnecessarily polluting – Landfill and incineration are the two mains ways of dealing with un-recyclable packaging waste. Both are major pollutants for people and the environment as they leach out toxins and release greenhouse gases.
And recycling isn’t always the answer. Some products are too complex to recycle as the facilities don’t exist, or aren’t cost effective. Whilst recycling more is huge step, it’s not the only solution – we need to find new ways of reducing the amount of packaging we’re using.
Packaging-free shopping isn’t a new thing. Our grandparents went to local grocery stores, the markets or farmers – where flour was sold from giant barrels and fruit from wooden crates. But today, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of waste and are striving to shop more sustainably.
‘Unpacked’ are the first UK supermarket to be packaging free, inviting customers to bring their own containers to refill. This model is being used by similar businesses around the world and their services are needed more than ever, given the environmental challenges we face as a global community.