2017 Sep 1
In light of the monumental milestone that is the polythene ban, which came into effect today (September 01, 2017), here are a few times manufacturers and packagers went a little overboard with their packaging:
1. If only bananas had a cover of their own…
Oh wait. They do. So why then, do we find bananas in supermarkets packed in plastic bags? Please have a little consideration for the deer, fish and dogs that’ll end up choking on this ridiculous amount of plastic that’s thrown out into the environment.
2. ‘Not for individual sale’
When you open packets of sweets and biscuits, sometimes you find that the individual biscuits and sweets come in wrappers of their own too. Funnily, these explicitly say that they aren’t meant for individual sale. So why on earth are they wrapped individually and THEN put in another packet? Believe it or not, chocolate wrappers, biscuit wrappers and ice cream containers have been found to take several millennia to decompose.
3. Vegetables: a package deal
By golly, these vegetables. You go to the supermarket. Your carrots, beans, pumpkin and potatoes are first put in individual polythene bags, which are then put into ANOTHER bag. And if you buy a whole lot of vegetables, chances are, they’ll put your bag of veggies in ANOTHER bag for added strength. And then there are those cauliflowers and cabbages wrapped in cling wrap. Veggies and polythene seem to be a package deal nowadays.
4. The Mystery of the Notebook
Now I get that the clean white pages will probably get dirty and stained without the packaging if they’re shelved for a long time. But personally, I would rather buy a slightly dusty book whose pages I can actually see, than a sparkly clean book which may or may not have ruled pages inside. I’m all for taking risks, but not when it comes to my stationery!
5. Poofy bags and shoes
Most of the footwear and bags we buy are stuffed with balled up polythene. These serve no real purpose other than to bulk up the bag or shoe. You just end up throwing a kilometer of polythene in the trash once you bring your newly purchased hand bag or pair of shoes home.
Did you ever think about what happens to this polythene once they leave your line of vision? Well, for starters, they take several hundreds of years to decompose, if not thousands. Some of them end up inside the digestive tracts of innocent animals. Some end up in the oceans, killing our fish. Scientists say that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Not to mention the large amount of landfill space occupied by polythene.
So here’s an idea; why not use paper instead, and ONLY paper, if these bags and shoes need poofing up so badly. Paper takes around 2 to 6 weeks to decompose; which is a significantly shorter time period compared to the decomposition period of polythene.
6. Sri Lanka’s epitome of laziness: sliced and diced
Sliced and diced fruits like apples, oranges and guava, and vegetables like carrot, cucumber and ‘polos’ can now be bought from supermarkets as packets. So essentially, you remove their natural covering, cut ‘em up, and then again pack them up in polythene and plastic. And when you buy them, they’ll ultimately be put in more plastic in the form of a shopping bag.
This is the level of laziness we have now achieved.
The convenience is not worth the environmental damage, so cut your own vegetables, folks.
We all know much of our non-biodegradable waste takes a long time to decompose, but we don’t really know exactly how long. Find out here.
And as of today, we should all do our part to protect the environment. One simple way we can make a difference is by saying no to shopping bags from today itself. Sure, the plastic ban will only be formally enforced in January 2018, but shopping bags are truly a menace to the environment, so totes use a tote from today onwards! Environmental damage has no schedule, even if our man-made bans do.
You can also deal with your household garbage in unconventional and creative ways to do your part to save the environment.
We must do our part to save our earth, folks, because studies have shown that ours is the only planet with chocolate.
So remember; protect the environment, and the environment will protect you.