Letter: Packaging that costs a packet

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article of 16 July draws attention to the problems of disposing of packaging waste, much of which you rightly say is unnecessary. If manufacturers were required to use boxes that were cubic and bottles with a diameter equal to their height, the amount of material used could easily be halved, as these shapes come close to the ideal of containing the maximum volume of product with the mininum amount of surface packaging. (A sphere is best but has obvious practical problems).

A glance along a supermarket shelf shows that most packets are tall and thin because they are designed to look large rather be large and, although the manufacturers are surely aware of the simple facts of geometry, they will not change if they fear losing competitiveness. A directive from Brussels along these lines might for a change do good and be welcome.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN BIGGS

Brightwell-cum-Sotwell,

Oxfordshire

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