It's a cultural thing AFAICT. Sure people speak out once in while but it seems unlikely to change without some major major concerted national PR effort against it, getting celebrities, politicians, etc all on board pushing for months or years and possibly even organizing boycotts until things change. But, if someone wants to do their part of make a small dent here well, here's a project you can try to take on.
Eventually I said, "It's already in a bag."
On another note, there's a hilarious scene of Archie Bunker (All in the Family, also from the 1970s) in the kitchen making hiimself a sandwich and trying to unwrap a single cheese slice. These were relatively new then I believe.
When used in cases where an item should be consumed sparingly anyway (as with sweets), I don't see the individual wrappers as excessive. It helps keep the food from spoiling due to exposure, thus prolonging the useful life of the product.
I think there's one negation too many in there. You're saying that you pay for the plastic bag if it is a perishable product, which sounds backwards.
I think I said this in a funny way, because this slightly differs from store to store—I am not sure whether the regulations are applied uniformly. (Takeaways, for instance.) But yes, if it is perishable, then usually you pay for the bag.
Why do you need PR when the parties responsible for all this wrapping are corporations? It’s not the dagashi down the street giving you six layers of wrapping.
When big corporations are doing something you don’t like, you don’t use PR to fix it. We’ve had plenty of PR about recycling in the US and it’s affected consumers plenty and corporations not—at—all (except where the responsibility ends up in the hands of individual consumers, like office managers.)
No, the way to make corporations change their behaviour, is to just make a law about it. For example, a “consumer waste reduction corporate tax incentive.” It’s the bottom line that says that extra wrapping is good (for some reason); so it’s the bottom line that needs to be convinced otherwise.
> No, the way to make corporations change their behaviour, is to just make a law about it.
But for example society in the UK and US (not sure where else) has basically just decided that plastic straws are not acceptable, and major corporations have made huge changes in a matter of months to remove them. That's much faster than implementing a law.
The EU announced they were looking at banning single use plastics. It was after that announcement that lots of companies annoucned they were making changes. By getting ahead of the law they can brand it as doing something they didn't need to do. (Much like how UK phone companies announced they were "abolishing roaming charges" because they did it a few months before it was an enforced law.
They get to advertise their 'green' credentials while not moving themselves to an uncompetitive position in the long term.
Also, self regulation can be safer in terms of come-back.
Where under an external regulatory pressure a misstep might result in some form of fine or at least a public outing. With self regulation many things can be more easily wrapped up with "oops, butter fingers! sorry, won't happen again" and all that might be more readily kept internal rather that having some form of issue reporting requirement enforced by the regulations.
I think what the earlier poster was talking about is using the relationship the other way around: the public using their relationship with the company to say "I could always vote with my feet/money you know, you might want to consider...".
It amounts to the same thing in the end (the pressure they are trying to stay ahead of is created by governments reacting to social change and environmental issues) but the earlier post was talking about more direct action. The more direct route can be quicker, but it requires more effort (well, some effort from more of the public) to be truly effective.
Individually plastic-wrapped paper straws? No, yours is not a good example of corporations respecting human needs.
That pile of used tires, cardboard, scrap metal, pretty much anything that's even slightly cheaper to recycle (into the same product like in the case of paper or something else in the case of vulcanized rubbers) than to make from scratch gets recycled wherever possible because there's a profit to be skimmed off of doing so.
Taxing people or corperations into doing what you want is a messy solution with all sorts of negative externalities (e.g. cost of compliance prevents competition and innovation). If all you care about is that the negative externalities not occasionally litter the side of the highway then I guess it's a win but I'd rather pay someone to clean up trash than drive extra business for people who make their living dealing with taxes.
corps have changed by PR. no demand = no sales = change.
Consider this from the perspective of the person in charge of packaging. They propose a change requiring costly re-tooling. It also changes the product's appearance and user's experience.
What is the benefit to this cost and this risk? Could the decrease in packaging give advantage to a competitor? If you deploy the marketing dollars to promote this trend, could a competitor piggyback on that by making the switch but not incurring the associated marketing costs? If they can't answer these questions--which itself costs time and money--the proposal is D.O.A.
> the way to make corporations change their behaviour, is to just make a law about it
How do you think one builds a coalition for getting a law passed?
Things like this make me wish I had a more rural lifestyle and had the space for stuff like this. Cooking is great and all, you can do an awful lot with just tools you can store in a kitchen. But experimenting with ingredients, and man, tools is a whole 'nother level.
YouTube channels like Alex French Guy Cooking where he makes his own mozzarella, worked with other YouTube makers to create the best pasta roller ever made, a massive, amazing meat tenderizing mallet, and just the YouTube makers in general almost have me wanting to rent my one bedroom condo out so I can go live out in the sticks and buy cheap tools like a small 5# process cheese cooker, tear off my shirt and Hulk-transform into a mad scientist.
I recycle all of my plastic. I use enough reusable bags that I have to buy trash bags - the current batch is made from corn and is compostable. But through all this, I'm not sure that a responsible plastic being recycled or composted is any worse than throwing out actual food.
Additionally, perhaps it would be easier for folks to control their eating with the packaging just because it takes so much longer to eat. My understanding is that the bubble packaging on pills helps to reduce suicide in a similar vein (it deters folks overdosing on pills, at least).
I throw out a lot less when I can buy large quantities of smaller "perishable units" at once, vesus shopping little and often.
Not according to EU law. Over here, Kraft Singles could only be described as "processed slices (made using a blend of cheese, vegetable oils and milk proteins)".
As long as consumers are clearly informed about what they are eating (via labeling) and the food is safe for humans to consume, constructing a legal definition of products like 'cheese', 'ice cream', etc. just seems like pandering to interest groups.
If it weren’t forbidden, this product would be sold in a package showing cows and cheese wheels, with “CHEESE” in huge letters on it, and, in a place people wouldn’t look at and in tiny low-contrast letters, a remark that this is processed protein made from diary.
Why eat something so intensely boring, when there is so much great cheese out there?
The answer to your second question is: Texture. The way process (not "processed") cheese melts is definitely different than similar cheeses. There's a gooeyness and meltability that's unique for applications like a grilled cheese or burger, and good process cheese is just cheese that's been melted with a few salts.
It turns out there are many different American cheeses:
Pasteurized Process Cheese - Various cheeses melted together with an emulsifying agent.
Pasteurized Process Cheese Food - Mostly cheese, but with a higher % of 'the other stuff'.
Pasteurized Process American Slices - Not actually cheese. A vegetable oil horrorshow.
Personally I don't even like to buy pre-sliced cheese, never mind individually packaged slices. I have a perfectly reasonable cheese slicer, and a cheese knife for softer cheeses. We absolutely do not need plastic packages with 10 slices of cheese, separated by individual plastic sheets.
Most of the time the pre-sliced cheese also tastes worse, and tends to go sour-smelling after a day or two, once the package is opened. I find it extremely puzzling that we've managed to turn a thing meant to preserve dairy potentially for years, into something prone to spoiling extremely quickly.
There's a similar issue with pre-sliced serrano ham and other meats that are packaged with plastic sheets between them. Sure, it helps you to take out a single slice cleanly, but the plastic waste is insane. I'm not sure if there's a better packaging solution, but honestly I would just prefer to buy a whole piece of cured ham, and slice off thin pieces myself instead.
> Personally I don't even like to buy pre-sliced cheese, never mind individually packaged slices. I have a perfectly reasonable cheese slicer, and a cheese knife for softer cheeses. We absolutely do not need plastic packages with 10 slices of cheese, separated by individual plastic sheets.
Perhaps it's just a weird English mature cheddar thing, but half the joy of eating cheddar is trying to make nice clean slices and eating the extra bits that crumble off. If I'm making a sandwich only half the cheese I cut off goes into it, I eat the other half.
The creation, processing, transportation and recycling of plastics is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of industrial pollution like water table pollution from landfills.
A conservative estimate puts 10% of all plastics created (from first world countries too) being deposited in the worlds oceans, to disastrous effects. The US economy is one of, if not the largest, contributing factor to the above pacific plastic waste problem.
Even if we're better at recycling plastics than some countries (still pretty terrible at only ~10%) and not letting them leak out into the environment, the sheer volume we consume and dispose of still makes the US and other Western countries by FAR the biggest contributors to plastics pollution.
Yes is the answer...
A lot of the plastic waste from first world countries gets shipped to Asia (very cheap; the container ships are much emptier going back...). China received so much plastic waste that in January it banned imports. Consequently shipments to other Asian countries have skyrocketed. Many of these countries have terrible records for the amount of waste plastic washed into the ocean.
Some UK statistics:
- 475,000 tonnes of household plastic waste is recycled per year
- 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste [i.e. not all household] is exported to China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc.
- Those three countries are in the top 10 for plastic waste reaching the ocean.
But for that sort of fake American cheese that melts beautifully onto burgers if you shipped them packaged together the slices would merge together in a warm kitchen in my experience.
This is my experience as well. I still buy the yellow cheese because its lower melting point is more suitable for rapidly melting over things I want to melt it over.
Even though the theoretical shelf life may be the same regardless of packaging the block of cheese in a ziplock from the deli will go bad faster than wrapped singles, probably extra air (the same way bread in a large container goes stale faster than bread in a bag) and possibly because of a difference in preservatives. In practice singles have a much longer shelf life.
Everything has tradeoffs.