Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Food for thought. Wrapped.

Apparently, supermarkets aren't doing enough for the planet, man.
Leading supermarkets in the UK are still using too much packaging, with up to about 40% of it unable to be recycled, a report has suggested.
...

Chairman of the LGA's environment board, Councillor Paul Bettison, said that the public were working hard to increase the amount of recycling that they did, but that retailers were not always making things easy.

"Their efforts are being hamstrung by needlessly over-packaged products on sale in supermarkets," he said.

"We have to question the necessity and desirability of shrink wrapping vegetables like peppers and broccoli."

Hmmm, now, I need to double-check where this occurs, but I am pretty sure that packaging regulations are an EU competence. For instance, certain foods have to be entirely air-tight (that is why, for instance, Kitkats dropped the old foil) which is why we have shrink-wrapped peppers and broccoli. Which is ironic...
The study, by the Local Government Association, warns that Britain will miss recycling targets if big chains do not cut back on packaging.

... because, of course, the EU also imposes the recycling targets. Not only does it do so directly, but it also determines how much landfill we are allowed to use.

Can we leave yet?

22 comments:

Richard Allen said...

Paul Bettison is an ignorant cunt.

Peppers are not normally shrink wrapped

Mark Wadsworth said...

But all that packaging makes excellent raw material for waste incinerators, which could (allegedly) generate 5% plus of our electricity.

DocBud said...

"Chairman of the LGA's environment board, Councillor Paul Bettison, said that the public were working hard to increase the amount of recycling that they did,"

Ah, an example of "patronising libertarianism"

Rather than string up all these bastards come the revolution, why not shrink wrap them, and then incinerate them to generate electricity, that way they will have been more useful in death than they ever were in life.

anthonynorth said...

Whilst I hate the patronising attitude in this, it is about time the supermarkets DID do more. It's a good con relying on the public to do it all.

Bishop Hill said...

Radio 5 Left had a good interview with someone from a body called, I think, The Plastic Bag Partnership. He was full of facts and figures as to why, for example, cucumbers are shrink wrapped. He rather destroyed the environmentalist contributors who didn't seem (unsurprisingly) to have any figures to back up their claims.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

For somebody like me who still hasn't gotten over "Mr Dog" being changed to "Caesar" this is like a red rag to a bull.

But it goes further into the realms of insanity. We are told that in order to keep starving Africans alive we should continue to import, by aeroplane, little shrink wrapped packs of dwarf beans from Kenya - not so much a carbon footprint, more a crater.

All this claptrap is inherently self-combusting; it conforms to no logic outside of the Starship Enterprise and no scientific fact that stands more than the light of an energy-saving bulb, let alone the light of day.

Brian Ellis said...

Isn't it amazing how those rapacious, cut costs to the bone supermarkets are so happy to waste money on unnecessary packaging?

Of course, in reality all this extra plastic and cardboard stops much greater waste elsewhere by protecting goods in transit and stopping produce rotting on the shelf.

One of the reasons food is so cheap and plentiful in the West is that we get a much greater proportion of it from the field to the plate than the third world can.

Bit harder to explain that to the Toynbees of this world though.

And isn't generating electricity from waste illegal under some sort of EU directive?

John Trenchard said...

Totally OT - but I thought I'd drawn this to your attention, oh humble Devil

When is a charity not a charity

The charity in question is the one that the murdered Ashley Ewing worked for. Turns out that the entire staff budget is entirely funded by various government sources. I would suspect that there are many many more like this, masquerading as charities , when in effect , they are quangos.

DocBud said...

Brian,
Your comment about energy from waste started me thinking (I've had my beer plus a little above the half bottle of wine, MrsBud wasn't helping as she is on a diet, so my brain cells are lubricated and jumping). Anyhow, why doesn't every toilet have a turbine installed? Everytime you flushed you could generate electricity that would power your home for a millisecond or so. I'm sure that if every toilet had one, we could delay global warming by tens of minutes, if not a couple of hours, and for what? Maybe a couple of grand per household, bargain. And of course, if you'd had a big night and braved the vindaloo, then sent it back cos it wasn't hot enough, you'd actually be able to sell power back to the national grid. It would amount to a 0.000001% discount on your meal. How good is that? There you'd be, talking to the big white telephone with the room spinning thinking, I've saved the planet.

John Trenchard said...

hmm... turns out that Oxfam are also sticking their snouts into the taxpayer funded trough.

was there a pledge to fund Oxfam at taxpayer expense in the Labour manifesto?

it's on my blog , but the figures for 2006 are

EU funding: £15.9 million
UK gov : £11.2 million
UNHCR: £900,000
Other UN agencies: £2.3 million
Non-UK governments: £1.5 million

this is out of a total revenue stream of £310 million.

that EU funding is interesting. If Oxfam is pulling in a few hundred mill from normal charitable activities, WHY does the EU feel it has the need to bung £15 million at them?

Paying them to lobby itself so that the EU appears to be more "democratic" than what it really is perhaps?

Bishop Hill said...

Dr Barnardo's is heavily funded by the taxpayer too IIRC. So is the Royal Society.

poohbear said...

Docbud,
Why not have a 'hamster wheel' installed in every home and make people run around it to generate power AND get fit at the same time while they watch those reality soaps? The EU could fit a surveilance camera/smoke detecter in every home to make sure that the drones did what they were told! Three birds with one stone?

John T,

Very good point about the charity bribes and bungs! The EU has created a system of bribery and patronage and backhanding corruption that Robert Mugabe would appreciate! Look, the EU commisars say, the masses are telling to do this or that, ie massive funding for Fatah or Hizbollah or the many corrupt bannana republics out there or funding for 'scientists' who on are on message about global warming!
The Soviet Union was built on corruption and graft and the whole rotten edifice collapsed and the EUSSR mk2 will go the same way!

Travis Bickle said...

Funnily enough a lot of the supermarket packaging has that nice little recyclable logo clearly marked on it. Problem is the local council does not have facilities to recycle that stuff.........

BTW next time you go into Tesco's and fancy a Danish Pastry, they're 59P each bought loose but you can buy two in the non-recyclable "recyclable" plastic package, for 85p.....

poohbear said...

Anyone remember the ban on burning stubble on fields at the end of harvest? It was a cheap and very effective way of putting nutrients back into the soil, only it meant that the chemical firms were losing out on the deal because they wanted to sell farmers expensive chemicals to do the same job! So they lobbied the EU, bribed a few commisars with cash and directorships Etc and lo and behold the chemical firms got their way! Did you know that there are more lobbyists in that cesspit fake parliament in Brussels than there are government employees? AND why do you think that there have been no documentaries or dramas exposing the corruption that goes on? How long before its a crime to report on the EU inner workings?

John Trenchard said...

"Dr Barnardo's is heavily funded by the taxpayer too IIRC. So is the Royal Society."

thanks for tipoff BishopHill. i will investigate. if i find anything, i'll blog out and get it "out there"...

John Trenchard said...

"why do you think that there have been no documentaries or dramas exposing the corruption that goes on"

yes. it is curious how our wonderful media seem to completely ignore the corruption that goes on, preferring to feed us with "bendy banana" stories instead.

wasn't there a Belgian journalist who actually did get close to how the slush funds were operating - and was then arrested by the Belgian police?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Picking up on Poohbear's comment, is there a list of examples of lobbyists paying for policies? I am sure we all know of a couple, but it would be handy to have a nice long list.

So that when the EUphiles start bleating on about environment and world peace we can just start reciting the list.

John Trenchard said...

bloody hell BishopHill, you were right about Barnardo's. A right plethora of government agencies donating to them.

and curiously enough, their salary and wages bill comes very close to the amount of government grants awarded.

however, that then means that every pound you donate yourself personally has more bang per buck - in that its not going to pay for salaries and admin.

but one wonders if the average taxpayer is aware of any of this. for if a charity is entirely dependent on the government for paying it's salaries , is it truely independent of government?

(and of course, with money comes power...)

John Trenchard said...

mark -> Friends of the Earth is one. They got a 500,000 bung from the EU Commission.

Oxfam is another. £15 MILLION this year. £15 million last year.

King of Scurf said...

But the really important question is, why are two-finget Kit Kats still available in the old style foil and paper wrapping?

maddy said...

You do know, don't you, that Barnardo's don't run any children's homes any more? That they do a lot of the State's child welfare work and get paid for it? That their shops are run as a commercial enterprise, except they don't pay their staff and they get reduced business rates?

It's why I stopped being a volunteer for them years ago.

Shug Niggurath said...

Think they'll put a green tax on condoms soon?