Letters: Green packaging
Wednesday 29 September 1999
Sir: Michael Peters (Podium, 27 September) like many other anti- packaging lobbyists, ignores some inconvenient facts.
The primary purpose of packaging is to prevent waste, not to create it. Effective packaging has led to low food wastage in the West compared with developing nations, but this is usually ignored when assessing the environmental impact of packaging.
I am surprised by his figure of 75 per cent of household rubbish being packaging (in my house it is probably 50 per cent junk mail and free newspapers) but even if correct he should remember the low wastage of more valuable food.
He also ignores the great steps forward that have already been made in reducing packaging, such as the move from dangerous glass bottles for drinks to paper cartons or lightweight PET.
Finally, the orange and the banana are by no means paragons of virtue. The skins will sit undecomposed in landfill sites for decades and are difficult to burn for energy recovery, and impossible to recycle - as well as causing tripping hazards in many silent movies.
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