Plastic Packaging – the need to reduce
GIBSONS RECYCLING DEPOT
Educational Outreach Program
Feb. 2009 Edition
Plastic packaging or rather the overuse of plastic packaging is a problem - there is just too much of the stuff.
As consumers, we often feel overwhelmed and powerless to the mountains of plastic packaging coming into our lives with the products we buy. Cosmetics, toys, eggs, chocolates, produce, cookies, snack foods, tools and appliances are just a few items that create packaging discards we must deal with. A single purchase can mean bringing home more packaging than product.
In less than one generation, the use and disposal of single-use plastic packaging has grown from 120,000 tons in 1960 to over 12,720,000 tons per year today. In 1960 Barbie dolls were packaged in small boxes with cellophane windows and while today's doll travels the same distance the packaging has drastically increased.
The original concept behind packaging was to protect the product from damage and to aid storage and transportation. Today much more is involved in the careful design of a product package; it is now a marketing tool to motivate us to buy the merchandise. When we choose the large colourful plastic package because we think of clean, attractive, or fun; we also pay for the large colourful package. As consumers we pay for packaging in the price of an item (10 cents of every shopping dollar is used to pay for packaging) and as consumers we pay again to get rid of the packaging with our waste and recycling services.
As shoppers, we have the power to create less! We can make a difference. Here are some ideas on how to reduce plastic packaging:
Remember to feel proud and empowered with your "green" shopping choices; you are making a difference. Our shopping habits and behaviours do not have to cost us the planet.
Gibsons Recycling Depot