Packaging is a major contributor to waste generation. You don’t really want to know how much there is. The point is we have an opportunity to educate the community about what to do with packaging by printing educational messages on the packaging itself. In the past the messages have been small print, and more often than not, relegated to the ‘bum side’ of the packet.
Here’s a bag I found recently from the 3 shop. The message is large enough to read, situated where it can be seen and most importantly, it takes the massage to the next level in that it attempts to educate the user as to what they are to do with the bag once they no longer need it ie remove the handles! (and they said please!)
I encourage you to look for the ‘environmental’ messages on the packaging you come into contact with. Let me know what you think. Are the messages clear or confusing? Are they there because the companies are genuinely concerned or does it look more like a little after thought the printer came up with?
This is a plastic ‘chupa chup’ container sitting on the counter of a small coffee shop (apologies for the out of focus shot).
Can someone please explain why this container has a ‘recycle’ logo.
It’s a concern of mine that these days manufacturers print the recycle logo on anything. And for what purpose? For who’s benefit?
I continue to campaign for messages on packaging that provide consumers with real and detailed information with regard to what can be done with the product once it is no longer required. Just sticking a ‘recycle’ logo on everything doesn’t really tell me anything.
What’s the container made of? Which bin can I place it in? Can I return it to the manufacturer? etc etc.
Packaging is always covered in the messages that help to make the products more appealing, and I guess that’s fair enough. Information as to what can be done with the package after use is very important but it never seems to get much more than a token gesture.
Occasionally I see some good environmental messages on packaging. I’ll be sure to post it on this site when I find some.
This packet of spinach is, or is trying to be, the greenest product I’ve seen in ages. It is literally covered in green messaging. Here is a list of the messages written all over this product:
1. Organic in conversation (whatever that means??)
2. Compostable packaging
3.Australian certified organic
4. ‘What do I do with the bag’ ie information on what can be done with the empty bag.
Yep! This product has tried really hard to be green.
The only problem is I found this empty packet on the footpath just blowing about in the breeze outside the local primary school.!!
I had to laugh..
I’d cry otherwise..
The good new is the messages are starting to mature. We still need a national approach to educate consumers about the packaging that products come in:
What the packaging is made of.
What can be done with it once we don’t need it any more.
The bad news is that the ‘environmental packaging information’ continues to be relogated to the ‘arse’ end of the packets
The message shown above on the tee vee snacks is interesting for a few reasons:
1. I’ve never seen the ‘be green’ text before
2. It diferenciated between the two different materials that make up the packaging ie paper and plastic (often packaging contains more than one type of material)
3. It explains that the ‘carton’ is recyclable.
Unfortunately it dosen’t tell us what to do with the plastic other that to ‘dispose of thoughtfully’. I can’t stand the ‘dispose of thoughtfully’ message.
I want more information, and I want it on the side of the package. I want the ‘what to do with the package’ messages to be as big and as prominent as the ingredients text.
Here’s a couple of examples of what I am beginning to term ‘environmental accreditation overkill’. This is the ‘heart tick’ gone mad.
Accreditation, I always thought, was supposed to help the consumer make some sort of informed decision regarding the purchasing of one product over another, especially when the two products in question bare very little difference.
Now days, it seems they’re all jumping on the bandwagon and as far as I can tell, all we have is a cronic watering down of the messages and a whole lot of confusion. The only people doing any good out of all of this is are the graphic artists who are being paid good money to come up with ‘groovy’ looking symbols. You have to admit, they are groovy!
Do we actually have an environmental accreditation ‘stamp’ that consumers can both understand and trust?
This photo is actually the back of a television remote control. I’ve seen this symbol before but I’m not exactly sure what it means and why it appears on some products and not others. Anyone know??
I was on an aeroplane recently from Melbourne to Sydney and Qantas, for some unknown reason, feels it necessary to feed everyone. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. What a heavy handed waste of just about everything. Sad actually.
Anyway, I noticed (because it’s my job to notice) the message printed on the cutlery wrapper. It reads ” closed loop recyclable packaging”.
My understanding of closed loop packaging is that it dosen’t matter so much that all the cutlery comes in plastic packets because the packaging has been designed with the end in mind. The people who manufacture the packaging are the very same people who want it back for recycling – closed loop! Sound reasonable, even sensible !
Look out for the closed loop symbol on packaging you use.
I will endeavour to find out more and report back
I believe it is vital that we use the printing on packaging to INFORM and EDUCATE (as well as sell).
Unfortunately more often than not I find environmental labeling found on packaging to be confusing and inconsistent.
Can you spot the difference between the two recycle logos printed on the two different products photographed above? I’m not talking about the graphic, but more the message. There is a very important difference.