Monday, March 10, 2008


So I was thinking about things the other day and something occurred to me. Why is it against the law for some big corporation to dump raw sewage into a river but it's totally ok for them to sell us products in packaging that is poisoning our oceans, our land, and in many instances (as a result) our bodies and minds? I mean I get the whole concept that we are buying this stuff but in many cases, we have no choice. There are many necessities that, living in cities, we have no other choices but to buy. So why is it our responsibility to make sure that these things are dealt with correctly as opposed to the corporations taking responsibility for their actions on the first place and offering us packaging that is biodegradable/compostable?

Is it insane to think that a law should be passed that says within 10 years it will be illegal to sell packaging that is non compostable? Why should we the consumers have to figure out the answers when the corporations that are out there are making bank by selling us packaging that we don't want, that is a pain in the rear to open, and that is turning the planet into a toxic ball?

Am I nuts?

Anyone with me?





(And JB, don't think I don't think I'm not going to hear from you on this).


David said...

If they find a cheaper way to package than plastic, big business will be all over it without legislation. If you try to legislate it, it will get caught up in years and years of red tape from Big-Jesus lawyers protecting their client's profits. However... if we push government funded research for cheaper, cleaner and environmentally sound packaging and they find something... THEN you don't need to push.

Tracie said...

My friend and I are with you, at least for a week. We have been keeping our trash since yesterday.

Lacey said...

Who cares if lawyers do snarl the law in red tape trying to protect profits... the fact is whether or not compostable packaging is cheap for the companies, they need to be using it.

And really.. cheaper than plastic? Is it possible? O.o

Anonymous said...

I keep trying to think but nothing seems to be happening.

At some point WE need to take responsibility for our actions. As nice as I'm sure we all are, we are fundamentally the problem. We brought a lot of this on ourselves because things like plastic wrapped meat are hygienic and don't spread disease and sickness. Think about what kind of packaging you might prefer for the food you feed your kids.

Eliminate home trash pick up and you might find a consumer demand for less packaging and less toxic packaging. When it's a little more trouble to get rid of your trash by throwing it in the curbside pickup and forgetting about like flushing a toilet, people will start thinking twice about what trash they bring home.

The sewers of London came about after a cholera epidemic and someone was bright enough to map instances to cholera on a map and traced the source to drinking wells. People are pigs and will squat in their own backyards until they get sick and enough people die. Then they'll squat in someone else's backyard.

We are the ultimate source and we're running out of other backyards to squat in.

Don't worry, sooner or later we won't be able to take in any more trash and will be compelled to stop producing it anymore. It's only a question of how much we can take until we can't stand our own filth anymore.

I've stopped trying to think because nothing seems to happen. We compost more and reduced the amount of trash we produce but it's not enough. I drink enough gasoline on my commute to work to make any prius owner barf. We still go through plastic bags at an alarming rate in our trash reduced household and now our energy saving light bulbs are a hazmat issue. I hate plastic while I embrace it.

We are the problem. _ _ jB

Raw Food Diva said...

I see more and more people use thier own bags in the grocery store. I have given cloth bags to some older folks as gifts and they said it reminded them of the way re using things used to be second nature.
Education is the key. Educate in a friendly way those around you and educate your own children and the change will happen. It already is.

Duane said...

I have to agree with anonymous, Dave. You sound like you've hit some kind of frustration wall. It's easy to blame the corporation because it seems to have no face, but I bet you could find a guy in every business who could tell you exactly why they use the packaging that they do. Some of the reasons might include price, sanitation, design... real reasons for choosing the packaging that have nothing to do with corporations being an oasis of evil in a heavenly world.

Many of the reasons that they package the way they do probably have to do with their global distribution... packaging has to protect the product not matter what the circumstances it encounters... in fact packaging has to protect the packaging... how many of us are willing to buy a package that is damaged when an undamaged package is available on the same shelf?

This stuff will not change until it is uncool, it is too expensive, it is unnecessary. So you have to do what you're doing, consumers need to buy locally from vendors that need to protect their products from less, and corporations need to continually reexamine their processes.

Passing a law might be one way to deal with this, but I fear you are looking at the problem from only one side. It's gonna take everyone working together to solve these problems. If I solve this problem as a corporation, but nobody buys my products because they don't like the packaging, I'll go out of business.

So, ya, the corporations bear some responsibility, but consumers may bear more.

Joyce said...

I live in a town that was one of the early adopters of curb-side recycling. Why? Because we were having trouble siting a new landfill. It made people of all political persuasions realize we needed to quite sending so much to the dump. I get frustrated at what I see, too, but I think we will reach a tipping point (no pun intended) when people will simply choose a better path. I think it is happening already. Just keep educating, keep doing, and remember that every life has a ripple effect.

Dave said...

Right on Joyce. Sounds like you lived a microscopic version of the larger picture already. Hope we hit the tipping point before it hits us!


Dave said...

Hey JB and Duane,
As usual, I hear ya. I think we do bear the blame, but as JB pointed out, I think we are also addicted to the ease and simplicity of all this packaging. Maybe I misspoke as i really didn't mean to imply that the companies should be penalized, rather that there should be an end date that they need to work for. I don't think that they will voluntarily go this way and I don't think people en masse will demand it (I hope, but I fear not). So why not help them with this by setting a date and then sponsoring research to fix the problem. Sure some things need to be packaged for health reasons but bottom line, most things do not require it for those reasons.

I don't want to get into a "how much should govt be in our lives" kind of thing, but it seems that if these things are poisining our lives and bodies, and we are not doing something on our own to stop this, that something larger needs to step in.

No one seems to mind when the government stops companies from polluting streams, why should this be any different?


Dave said...

Raw Food,
I totally agree. That's basically what i try to do. Don't cram this dwon peoples throats (Ok maybe the subject of this post is the wrong place to post this reply) but educate them and they'll generally make the betetr decision.


Melissa said...

I think there's a really good example of why we can't leave this stuff to the government at this post here: http://www.wastedfood.com/2008/04/03/catch-o-the-day-waste/

No law can never replace common sense, regardless of how well intentioned it is. Relying on common sense is where it gets scary as there are so many people out there that seem to have so little sometimes. Frustrating as it may be, I think we can only decide, each for ourselves, what is right and what is not, including our consumption habits.