Much of today’s food packaging is a wasteful use of increasingly scarce resources: it uses vast quantities of oil, it irritates shoppers and it is reckoned to cost the average family about £470m a year, equal to one sixth of their food budget.
It’s no wonder that the Independent has launched a campaign to highlight this shameful and unnecessary preoccupation with excessive packaging.
In many cases it can be argued that it benefits society: packaging protects many delicate items and ensures foods are protected from pests and contamination. But as the newspaper points out, “packaging performs another, commercial, function: it engages and entices the customer, and often exaggerates the size of a product. This is particularly noticeable in the rapidly growing trend for seasonal merchandise, whether for Christmas toys, Easter eggs or Halloween masks.”