PLASTIC PACKAGING DESIGN
SINGLE USE PLASTICS - This is just a small sample of the plastic packaging that you will find in retails stores all over the world. A good proportion of this packaging - around 8 millions tons a year, will end up in our oceans, in the gut of the fish we eat, in the stomachs of seabirds and in the intestines of whales and other marine mammals. Copyright photograph © 22-7-17 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd, all rights reserved.
The design, use and recycling of plastic packaging is crucial to reducing spillage that may end up in our oceans and landfill. Shoppers tend not to think about it, but the volume of plastic that is produced is directly related to the volume of food or other goods that are being purchased.
It is not our intention to single out any manufacturer or apportion blame. Our aim is to work with producers to help come to terms with the problem and try to find solutions. Apologies then to any company whose products are shown on this site or who is mentioned, they are merely pictured or mentioned here as examples.
OCT 2017 - A deposit return scheme aimed at slashing plastic pollution has moved significantly closer after environment secretary Michael Gove said he would work with the industry to see how a scheme can be implemented in England.
Some products could be packaged in cardboard boxes as they were before plastic became so cheap and where there is no appreciable marketing value or savings using plastic. A prime example is egg boxes. There is nothing wrong with the original cardboard egg boxes so why change to clear plastic? Tesco and Lidl and many others sell their value eggs in clear plastic boxes that are relatively unappealing and use a good deal of plastic in the moulding process to achieve a stronger box for transport purposes. Okay, so that reduces transport costs, but increases the plastic to food ratio - and that means more plastic in the system.
One drinks maker that is doing the right thing is Idris, who make a particularly fine 'Jamaica' ginger beer in our opinion. Their aluminium can 8 pack comes in a cardboard sleeve. Magnificent! All recyclable for 10 points.
PET DRINKS BOTTLES
Two of the biggest users of plastic bottles for soft drinks are Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola but these producers are by no means the only contributors to the undersea plastic mountain that is accumulating as micro and other plastics sink to the bottom of the ocean where even eco machines like SeaVax cannot reach them .........
There are ways that these companies might reduce their plastic footprint ........
EVERY LITTLE HELPS - 1.3 billion plastic carriers may not be seen as a "little" bit of waste and nothing to worry about. It is still a large plastic mound that combines with all the other mounds around the world to poison our oceans. Contributing to ocean waste research would help us significantly and if a vessel like SeaVax hits the oceans as a result, then every donation would count no matter how small.
A tax on plastic carrier bags has already been imposed on supermarkets and other stores in the United Kingdom, but so far none of this tax appears to be going to dealing with the problem ........ Where is the logic in that ?
It is typically English thinking that a tax can be raised and squandered on something else. Did you know that in the UK only 5% of Road Tax is used to build roads. The other 95% goes to making weapons and warships. What are we like ?
In an honest administration, If a tax is levied, the money should be used for the purpose it is claimed to be necessary transparently. Our warmongers should be honest and tell us how much of our income tax, VAT and other taxes are being used to pay for fat military contracts and procurement fraud that is so prevalent in the US that a percentage is allowed for by congress. Our society is top heavy with taxes that do not deal with serious pollution problems, affordable housing and climate change.
As some of the operators and users that benefit the most from plastic packaging, supermarkets could cooperate with organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to formulate a business model to set an example to other industries that use plastic ........ In the UK Tesco has been named as selling the most of the 1.3 billion bags sold last year. We are sure that now the supermarkets are aware of the growing public concerns that they will want to do something about it .....
Cadbury use plastic in the packaging of their products and one product in particular could be redesigned to reduce plastic in the mix ........... Nobody would want to stop this producer from making the world some of the most delicious coca based products, or from making us happy with chocolate. Chocolate is a valuable food supplement taken in moderation. It is the packaging that is the problem, not the product.
BOTTLE CAPS - If you have a family to feed your weekly shop is likely to exceed this quantity of plastic bottle caps. About half this quantity is regularly found in the stomachs of dead seabirds. We live in a plastic society and a plastic age - where we could not do without the advantages that plastic offers - that is a good thing for mankind. What is not so good is exploiting our skills in a way that harms other life on this amazing planet, and will eventually come back to haunt us as reduced food capacity and maybe even diseases. Copyright photograph © 22-7-17 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd, all rights reserved.
We can think of a number of ways that plastic packaging can be reduced and recycled that is sure to have a bounce down effect on the volume of waste that enters our oceans. If we had the funding for such review, proposals and campaigning, we would be able to suggest ways of improving operations so that supermarkets might not only help the ocean pollution problem but also save money on their packaging.
To draw attention to the single use plastic issue we are planning an Ocean Literacy campaign, involving a competition to identify Miss Ocean and Mister Ocean, and events where the winner tours England using a VW Camper that we are kitting out at the moment, to explain why we should all think about changing our shopping habits, or maybe even help us to help manufacturers and retailers to see what they might be able to do to ease the present situation.
If you are a major user of plastic packaging and would like to explore the opportunity for working on this together to reduce your plastic footprint, please email Christina or Andrew to find out more.
THE INDEPENDENT HENDERSON ISLAND - Beaches of a remote British island in the South Pacific are littered with an estimated 37.7 million pieces of plastic, only discovered in 2017. You may be able to identify some of the caps in this picture, but you will net be able to see the micro particles that come from the myriad of clear containers from your friendly local supermarket store that is more than likely at the time of this article: ocean unfriendly.
EXPRESS FEBRUARY 5 2015 - 10 FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC
LINKS & REFERENCE
Geographic – Eight
Million Tons of Plastic Dumped in Ocean Every Year
FOAM & BOTTLES - Expanded polystyrene is used to package household electrical goods, while soft drinks and water is sold in PET plastic bottles by the billions every year. The numbers are staggering. It's no wonder then that some of this plastic will end up on our plate in one form or another, potentially as a toxin carrier. Copyright photograph © 22-7-17 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd, all rights reserved.
This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) December 2017. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.