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Thread: Plastics? Who's to blame?

  1. #11
    Senior Member bigfella's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about cause and effect here. Small local shops are to some extent driven out of business by a 'Sainsbury's Local' (or Tesco etc) opening down the road, possibly cheaper with more choice, which will in the end put the smaller retail out of business. I'm not sure it's anyones choice, many local people object when the planning applications are submitted but corporate muscle usually wins out.
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

  2. #12
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    supermarkets don't manufacture their own brand products - the manufacturers do that for them. they and the whole supply chain determine the packaging based on a range of factors such as preserving shelf life and appearance, but ultimately it is to serve the consumer on an economic basis. the whole supply chain is set up to compete to give the best 'value' to consumers. only consumers - society - can dictate this.

    yes it is hard for an individual to make a difference to this, but at least we can each make a start and take responsibility for our own habits, behaviours and choices and not try to 'blame' any one single part of the system for what we perceive to be a failing in that system.

    that people choose to shop at supermarkets to the extent it closes down independent grocers is sad in many respects. but ultimately that's what we as consumers (society at large) are choosing to do - and we should accept the responsibility of our actions.

    if you like the convenience of a supermarket, and the cheap prices, and the range of choice, and the new products available all the time, and that your food reaches you in good condition and lasts a longer time in your house than it would without packaging ... then don't complain about packaging and lay all the 'blame' at the door of the system that is designed to (largely) meet your complex needs and preferences in a very sophisticated way.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    You’re going to have to admit it benshep, you own a supermarket , I’ve worked in manufacturing, supermarkets do have an enormous amount of pull on how their own brand products are designed, packaged etc so they need to share some of the responsibility for how it’s packaged, it’s going on their shelves.
    I’m not laying all of the blame at their door but change needs to go both ways, it is being seen more and more that manufacturers are changing their packaging to limit waste but more needs to be done.

  4. #14
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    bigfella - vote with your pound! they're filling a gap in the market because the small shops have already gone out of business or because when the 'local' (small) supermarkets open up people decide to go there instead of the independent shops! you can't blame them for meeting a demand in the market! what do you want to do - COMPEL people to shop at only independent shops?!

  5. #15
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    totally agree with you Daletownrunner that the market is listening to the call to reduce packaging (plastic and otherwise) and that there will always be more that can be done. it's never a quick fix. the market will respond to consumer demand. if we all ultimately spend each pound more 'responsibly' - and where a chioce exists you choose the one that best fits the values you espouse - then the manufacturing and retail industry will react to that change in demand. that's the whole point of a free market economy, right?

    it's a strange debate to have on a fell running forum though, isn't it?

  6. #16
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree, hopefully things will change.
    It is a strange debate for a fell running forum but it probably affects us more than anyone else, we’re the folk who see the rubbish in the hedgerows, I must admit since the charge for carrier bags, things do seem to have got a little better but there’s still a long way to go, still far too much takeaway packaging strewn everywhere.

  7. #17
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    Carriers are easy to blame the consumer.
    Plastic cartons, bottles and packaging are the responsibility everyone.

    What about the milk man. Best recycler going with his bottles.

    All milk is predominantly plastic bottles now.

    Now that's the supermarkets.

    Even in the states they use large brown paper bags not the polly bags our supermarket sell us.

  8. #18
    Senior Member bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benshep View Post
    bigfella - vote with your pound! they're filling a gap in the market because the small shops have already gone out of business or because when the 'local' (small) supermarkets open up people decide to go there instead of the independent shops! you can't blame them for meeting a demand in the market! what do you want to do - COMPEL people to shop at only independent shops?!
    I would like planners to refuse permission for the bigger chains to open so called 'local' branches in rural areas.
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

  9. #19
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    I think there'll be some svere packaging changes in development being looked at by supermarkets, but it will take some time to filter through to the shop floor.

    I think time is a big factor.
    Recently I had a flexible job (well, postgraduate student) so would head to the market with my canvas bags for package free fruit and veg at lunch, a morning trip to the butchers with a jar to put local meat in before heading into work. Now however I'm back in full-time employment (30 min commute from home) and getting to the local shops at lunch is difficult, by the time I'm home the ones there are shut; weekends are an option but I'm often away racing!

    At the moment I insist on buying package free veg/fruit only and can get most of what I need loose from a mix of Aldi/Morrissons. I'm cutting down on meat intake but butchers/grocers close to work in Billingham need to be investigated. Did have a milkman in Sheffield, need to find one in Guisborough now.
    Last edited by ba-ba; 10-11-2018 at 10:10 PM.

  10. #20
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    The amount of plastic we get through at work though (research scientist; for sterility and reproducibility purposes) you do realise that personal cutting down is pissing in the wind somewhat- many manufacturing processes have in the last decade moved to single use as it's better for sterility, reproducibility and therefore regulatory requirements. Similar in the NHS.

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