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A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.



Packaging Pollution


If you look inside almost any trash can, I bet that you can identify most of the products in there by their colorful labels and containers even if only small portions are visible. This waste from containers and their packaging is seldom given much attention, even though the vast majority of landfill pollution that does not biodegrade is the rubbish and refuse from packaging and containers. I like to call this "packaging pollution".

First, this is partly the fault of consumerism. We live in an individually based society that is always on the go, so the products that we buy are typically single serving, portable, and eye catching. When you go to the store, do you buy cans or two litter bottles of your favorite drink? Obviously, buying two litter bottles create less trash. Even if both types of containers are recycled, there is less to recycle with two litter bottles. Thus, buying two litter bottles are better for the environment than buying individual cans. I do not realistically think that consumers are going to naturally prefer buying items that are not packaged as single servings just to reduce the amount of trash. There is just not enough motivation for the typical consumer to make this change.


Second, businesses are also partly at fault for packaging pollution. How often do you purchase something, and it comes with a huge amount of unnecessary wrapping or packaging. For example, I ordered a book online, and the box that it came in was several times larger than the size of the book. And the box was full of packaging foam to prevent my book from being damaged. However, the book is not fragile, and it REALLY did not need so much packaging. This was obviously a lot of packaging waste. Yet it is not always the fault of manufacturers, because they are only responding to the needs and wants from society. What businesses can do is minimize the amount of packaging that they are using, thus probably saving themselves money. Also, businesses could use more natural packaging that are more biodegradable, yet most businesses are only interested in what costs less money and are typically not concerned with the environment.

Third, government regulation is the only solution to force businesses to create and consumers to buy less packaging pollution. Yet, the governments of the world are not imposing enough penalties for creating meaningless waste. If there are no laws, then businesses and consumers will continue doing what they are doing.

In conclusion, it has again falling on the government to reduce pollution, since neither consumers nor businesses are motivated enough to reduce packaging pollution. Therefore, it is our duty as concerned citizens to contact our leaders to get them to create more laws and regulations to reduce packaging pollution.

by Phil for Humanity
on 02/15/2007

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