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Published: Friday 27 September, 2013

michael kors cheap purses michael kors cheap purses Environmental Myths

In these days of environmental focus, nothing seems to arouse the passions like packaging. Unfortunately, much of the bad news that circulates on the topic is based on myth and hearsay. Maybe some of the following thoughts will help to correct some of the commonly quoted inaccuracies!

Myth 1: Food Packaging is filling our landfill sites

Publicly available information suggests that the total volume of waste prod michael kors cheap purses uced from all sources in the UK per year is about 335 million tonnes. Only some 10% of this is accounted for by household waste about 30 million tonnes. Building sites, as one good point of comparison, produce about four times as much rubbish as UK households. Packaging of all types represents some 5 million tonnes of household waste, and the amount actually due to food packaging is likely to be no more than 1 million tonnes. The weight of food packaging per person is less then 20kg per year.

Compare that 20kg of packaging with the 100kg per person per year of food waste that is put straight into the bin and you begin to see that packaging is actually the least of our worries. The environmental impact of the food waste is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of this is also dumped into landfill. Food going to landfill will gradually rot and produce methane a gas of significantly greater concern regarding global warming than CO2.

Myth 2: Everything is overpackaged

Whilst there may be some mileage in this statement in certain sectors, food is unlikely to be one of them. The protection offered to food products by packaging provides a significant benefit, as illustrated by statistics from the World Health Organisation which suggest that food wastage in the third world can be as high as 50%, whilst in developed economies as low as 3%. Much of this difference is due to good quality packaging. Underpackaging is ten times worse for the environment that the same amount of overpackaging, as ten times more energy and material resources go into the production of goods and food than into their packaging.

Additional fuel in favour of michael kors cheap purses sensible packaging is provided by the Cucumber Growers Associated, which showed that unwrapped cucumbers are unsaleable after three days. Plastic wrapping keeps them fresh for 14 days and untouched by dirty hands.

Cleaner and fresher produce and foodstuffs less likely to be damaged during transportation equals product less likely to be thrown straight into the waste bin. Smarter shopping and cooking, and more focus on producing less food waste is far more likely to provide the answer to environmental issues than simply reducing packaging.

Myth 3: Cardboard packaging destroys trees

An unfortunate perception of the print and packaging world is that it eats trees! In fact, of the world consumption of wood only 12% is actually used for the manufacture of paper and board, and of this, just one tenth is used for cartons. Over half the cartons used in Europe are manufactured using recovered fibres from waste paper.

In Europe over 90% of the wood needed by the paper and board industry comes from European forests, and responsible packaging producers ensure that their purchases are made from FSC and PEFC certified suppliers, which means that any new wood used has come from responsibly managed forests. Overall there are more trees planted than felled in Europe, and as forests absorb CO2 they combat greenhouse gases, and therefore have a positive effect with regard to climate michael kors cheap purses change.

Myth 4: Burying plastic is harmful to the environment

OK time for a bit of a controversial thought now! Anything that is taken to landfill and rots will give off methane fact! Methane, as already mentioned, is a significantly harmful gas in environmental terms, and is the probably the weakness of the argument for so called degradable packaging. Whilst no one likes the idea of burying plastic, it will not rot, and therefore represents less of a climate change issue than burying food waste or even card and paper which will also rot, but should, of course, be recycled instead. This text is not advocating burying plastics just pointing out that actually in some ways its not as bad for the environment as burying other things!

Myth 5: Not enough packaging is being recycled

This might appear to be another controversial comment to describe as a myth, but the statement does require further analysis to extract the real truth. Some packaging materials are more difficult to recycle than others, and some are particularly expensive or energy inefficient to recycle. Generally speaking cartonboard is easy to recycle, and an ever increasing percentage of the population is doing so on a daily basis. Boxes and cartons are easy to disassemble and place into the recycling bin for fortnightly collection, as is probably typical across much of the country. Card that is not recycled will at least compost easily. More cartonboard/paper is recycled than another other packaging material. Once recent claim suggested that recycled waste paper represented around 63% of the fibre used to produce paper and board in the UK. michael kors cheap purses