Reusable Packaging vs Recyclable Packaging
Perhaps you’ve heard that the nasty plastic anti-theft, anti-child, anti-adult, ‘clam shell’ packaging we all have come to love to hate will soon be memories of the past. At least for some online stores such as Amazon. Now what will I do with my new Canadian Tire deluxe pro clam shell cutting tool?
I don’t understand why we can’t buy more stuff in reusable containers rather than recyclable containers. You might be thinking, reusable is old school, no one uses mason jars anymore and our milk man doesn’t pick up our empty milk bottles. Now, let me first point out that I can understand that not all products should come in reusable containers. I’m just suggesting that more of our current packaging could be reusable rather than recycled. Not just reusable by you in your house, but actually brought back to the store and put back into the system for reuse. It’s quite possible that the whole container cleaning and process is costly and far from eco-friendly. Or could there be ways to make such a system work today? What if we all just brought a bunch of clean jars to the store and had stuff dumped into them? I mean, I know I can do that down at the granola-hippie shop, but what about down at Loblaws?
Your food could come in standardized ‘reusable containers’ that you bring back to the store not throw into recycling to be made into another container. As Grinning Planet points out, it doesn’t make sense to recycle what we can reuse.
Recyclable plastic containers have their merits I’m sure, uh.. the packaging is light, it’s cheap to make, it’s durable more or less, clean and so on. Did I mention cheap? Of course, plastic isn’t for all of us, some people hate plastic for health reasons.
There seem to be plenty of reasons to be suspicious of plastic but it’s the packaging choice for foods from apple juice to peach yogurt. I wonder what large grocery stores think about this? Would re-inventing the current packaging disrupt the packaging manufacturing industry? Could these companies retool to rethink this recycled problem?
Let’s hear it for the reusable packaging movement!