Less packaging…more waste.

Green. A colour we associate with nature and Christmas. Nowadays it’s used to describe something in a different way. Being “green” doesn’t mean you’re the colour of grass or limes, it means you’re environmentally friendly.

Actually, having done a little research I’ve come to understand that the word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan which means “to grow”. So it’s not really surprising that the word green has become more than an adjective to describe something’s colour.

Today’s theme was chosen by Katysense and is green/sustainability/saving the planet, etc. Which means I should probably talk about the environment and how important it is for us to save paper, recycle plastic and turn off the bathroom light. But I’m not a very environmentally friendly person. It’s not that I don’t think we should recycle; I’m more than happy to do so. I’m just not very passionate about the whole thing. I’m no Naomi or Gina Campbell (from Skins), that’s for sure.

(Naomi with a Greenpeace poster behind her.)

Something I am passionate about, in the area of environmentalism, is this obsession with products which have #% less packaging that companies often advertise on the television. It’s all very well and good saying Kenco refill bags have 97% less packaging but one thing they’re forgetting to tell us is that their so-called less packaging product CANNOT BE RECYCLED.

Kenco’s supposedly bigger packaging is glass jars. We can recycle them (and actually they’ve cut down on the amount of glass in their jars by 7%). Kenco refill bags are plastic. Most locations in the UK only allow plastic bottles to be recycled and so if you buy a refill bag you’re contributing to non-recyclable waste and not recycling your usual glass jar. Another thing they forget to tell you is that the amount of coffee for the price in the glass jar (£3.59 for 200grams of decaf) is actually better than this supposed refill bag (£4.98 for 150grams of decaf).

Having done a little research I’ve come to understand that Kenco refill packs can be sent to some company who will turn them into pencil cases. That’s all very well and good to suggest that their supposedly “unrecyclable” product can be recycled. But how many people want to spend time posting the packaging back to this company? It’s a bit of a joke really.

One of the main reasons, I’m sure, that they introduced recycling in the home is because people can’t be bothered to find time to take glass bottles and cans, etc. to a recycling centre which have been around for as long as I can remember. Instead Kenco change their packaging to something you can’t recycle and expect you to return to the days of spending additional time to recycle your packaging? Most people would find it easier and would actually prefer to just throw it in the bin, rather than sign up to some membership website and print off a label for a 2 pence reward that goes to a charity of your choice. Come on Kenco, move with the times.

I’m not sure what Kenco think they’re doing, but saving the planet is certainly not happening.

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4 thoughts on “Less packaging…more waste.

  1. I LOVE this! This is why I left it wide open for rants, raves etc. I’d never even thought about, or realised, that the kenco less packaging packets were recyclable (something to do with my never buying coffee I guess). You always *think* you’re doing right, because the company tell you you are, but when you stop and think… kaboom!

    1. So when you buy other things do you go for stuff with recycable packaging? Or do you just recycle what you can when you get home? Wouldn’t even occur to me to think about recycling something before I’d bought it :S

      Also makes me think of one of the comments on my profile, about how much energy it takes to recycle things anyway. Is the ‘cost’ of recycling that glass jar better or worse than changing the plastic into a pencil case, or just throwing it away?

      1. I generally try to – if it isn’t more expensive or harder to find. I’ll choose the tea bags in a cardboard box not a plasticy bag. I’ll not put fresh fruit and veg in the little bags they have (I always take them out of them when I get them home anyway). As I say – little things that make my life easier!!

        I agree – it takes a lot of energy to recycle things and in an idealistic world that energy would be provided by wind or water or sun (which yes, the production of turbines or panels will very rarely be carbon neutral). But, it’s also a landfill issue for me. When we run out of space we’ll have to use the nice places to dump crap so if we can avoid filling the land fill we can avoid ruining the prettyness, or at least I hope 🙂

      2. I think in a way it makes sense to think about it beforehand. How many times will you pick up the product with the most packaging without even realising it? Unless perhaps you’re Katy with her environmentally friendly mind. 😉

        I actually discovered that the energy involved in making glass jars is apparently more and so that’s where Kenco’s idea of less packaging comes from…yet what they advertise is less packaging, not more economic packaging.

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