Archive for Supermarkets

A Wasteful Society

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, Conservation, England, Environment, European Union, Human Rights, Modern World, News with tags , , , , on 22/09/2016 by floroy1942

I could hardly believe what I read in the news today. Did you know that in Britain they literally throw away 10 million tonnes of food every year? I could hardly believe it when I read it,  for the figure seems impossible. It makes me wonder what the figure is in America and Canada, for they have much larger populations.

Spot The Difference

Spot The Difference

The average amount of good food that is thrown away by households in Britain is 260kg a year, and it makes me wonder why. With so many starving people in the world these figures are astounding.

One of the reasons is of course over production of food items in the country because of the great quest for profit. Secondly, it is the dates that producers put on their goods to show the maximum usage time for food which are not always accurate. Buying a loaf of bread would indicate that it must be eaten within, say three or four days, and then thrown away. It just means that after that period you need to go out and buy a new one – hence more profit for the bakery, the manufacturer and the farmer.

Much of our food will last way beyond the date that is stamped on it by the manufacturer, but many people don’t realize this, which leads to massive food waste.

A company in Britain has started gathering this food ‘waste’ and is providing a source of cheap food for those less well off. “The Real Junk Food Project”, started in Leeds, is gathering this so-called waste food from supermarkets, local businesses, restaurants and even allotments and selling it to the less well off.

The Real Junk Food Project

The Real Junk Food Project

People pay what they think the food is worth, not a fixed price, but can also work in the warehouse for the food they take with them. There can be little doubt that this company is a boon to those of us who are less well off.

But on the other hand, it is a disaster that so much food should be thrown away just because the expiry date has been exceeded.

As I mentioned before, all this food is being thrown away, while in many countries the people are starving to death. Of course it is not possible to ship this excess food to say Africa, but surely something can be done. Perhaps our farmers should be putting part of their fields aside to grow food that can be shipped to Africa and other starving nations.

Over-production is using up resources and killing the ground on which we grow our crops. In the end a large portion ends up in the rubbish bin. Why do we not scale back production to stop this drastic waste? No-one will consider that because it eats into their profits, and that is what its all about.

Roy.

African Plastic Ban – Something We Can All Learn From

Posted in America, Britain, England, Environment, European Union, Illegal Dumping, Nature, News, Oceans, Plastic with tags , , , , on 13/04/2015 by floroy1942

I watched with interest a news item on France 24 channel yesterday that should point the way for the whole world. The headline is: Plastic is banned in Rwanda.

Good Night Out Last Night - What Did You Do With Your McDonald's Hamburger Box?

Good Night Out Last Night – What Did You Do With Your McDonald’s Hamburger Box?

Non-biodegradable plastic has for years been a plague on our planet and it is without doubt time that its use is severely limited. Our towns, cities and countryside, and more important our oceans, are becoming clogged with the stuff. Everywhere you go these days you will find plastic bags, cartons, bottles, wrappers and the like littering our streets, our waterways and the seas.

It would seem that many manufacturers cannot think past plastic. If you buy even fruit or vegetables in a supermarket these days, chances are they will come in a plastic tray with a plastic film wrapper. WHY! If the goods need to be in a tray, which I don’t believe they do for these are purely for presentation, then why not a cardboard one as in the old days?

High Winds - Who Knows Where It Will End Up?

High Winds – Who Knows Where It Will End Up?

In Britain alone a total of eight billion plastic bags were handed out to customers by supermarkets and shops in 2012. Add that to the rest of Europe and it comes out at trillions per year. You should ask yourself how many of yours ended up in the wrong place because you didn’t care!

Up to the sixties everything came wrapped in paper, cardboard or a derivative, and everyone was happy. Today it all comes down to profit because plastic is cheaper.

Eventually To End Up In The Oceanic Gyre?

Eventually To End Up In The Oceanic Gyre?

Here in Marbella you do not need to walk far on the beaches before you come across a discarded plastic bag, water bottle or wrapper. We have become so careless with waste disposal these days that even though there may be a litter bin a few metres away, it is too much trouble for many to dispose of litter properly.

As I have reported in previous posts (https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/) plastic is steadily clogging up our oceans to the extent that there are country sized accumulations in all our oceans called gyres.

I NEVER Throw These Away Without Cutting Open All The Loops First!

I NEVER Throw These Away Without Cutting Open All The Loops First!

Plastic is breaking down in sunlight into micro-plastic that is eaten by fish and sea birds, and much of the fish ends up on our dinner table. What most people seem to forget is that normal plastic is non-biodegradable! It will still litter our planet in one thousand years after it is carelessly thrown away!

- And This Is Why!

– And This Is Why!

It was reported recently that even the Mediterranean Sea now has huge gyres of plastic that are steadily being eaten by the fish. If it continues, it will become a major problem for the extensive fishing industry in countries bordering the Mediterranean as in other parts of the world.

Says It All!

Rwanda – Says It All!

It is for these reasons that I applaud the actions taken by the Rwandan government to ban non-biodegradable  plastics in the country. Top of the list is plastic shopping bags, for these have received an outright ban. The people are now being forced to use paper bags to carry the shopping.

Passengers arriving at Kigali Airport are now searched for plastic, and any found is confiscated. If you have a package or suitcase wrapped in plastic it is cut off and confiscated before you can enter the country. The same goes for the country’s borders.

Refreshing To See A Nice Clean City

Refreshing To See A Nice Clean City

It has been reported by people travelling through Rwanda that now-a-days everything is a lot cleaner. No longer is there the spectacle of plastic bags blown around on the streets and in the countryside, and no longer are the trees festooned with plastic caught on branches. A lesson for us all in our supposedly ‘civilized’ world.

Europe vainly tried a couple of years ago to limit the use of supermarket plastic bags by charging for them, locally its ten cents, but that was a waste of time. You still see people leaving the supermarkets with a trolley full to the brim with shopping in a dozen or more plastic bags.

Litter On The Street -  A Regular Occurence In Europe

Litter On The Street – A Regular Occurence In Europe

In Europe as in most western countries it is a common sight to see shopping bags or other plastic items littering the streets, they are everywhere. In many cases these items find their way into rivers and streams and pollute our water supply, but who the hell cares, its only a plastic bag.

Few people realize the damage that is being done to our environment by discarded plastic, and sad to say, many don’t care anyway. Unfortunately it is not about the here and now, but what we are doing to future generations with our careless plastic pollution.

What Would You Think If This Ended Up On Your Dinner Table?

What Would You Think If This Ended Up On Your Dinner Table?

It is time for the rest of the world, in particular the richer nations to follow this example set by Rwanda and enforce an outright ban on plastic carrier bags as a start, and then move to other plastic wrapping materials. It may cost a little more, but at least it will be a step in the right direction towards saving our planet.

Roy.

Run! The Wal-Marts Are Here!

Posted in America, Britain, England, Insanity, Modern World, Obesity, USA with tags , , on 05/06/2012 by floroy1942

Its been a long time since we had a bit of nonsense on the blog and I just couldn’t resist this classic. In America there is a breed of strange people who gather at one of the nations favourite supermarkets – Wal-Mart. You will find such specimens of the human race nowhere else on Earth, as these pictures will prove.

Is That What I Think It Is – OMG!

Momma Said I Should Show A Little Cleavage!

Her Heads On The Wrong Way Round

Nothing To Say – I’m Gob Smacked!

You have To Be A Special Type Of Person To Shop At Wal-Mart

Just Got Up Dear – Or Are You Sleep-Walking?

What Is That?!? The Original Bearded ‘Lady’?

Must Be A Plumber

Is He/She Serious?

AAARGH!!!! Run For Your Lives!

Anyone Got A Bucket Of Water! They Look Dangerous!

This Shop Assistant Couldn’t Take It Anymore And Committed Hara-Kiri In The Shoe Aisle

 

You can say what you like, but it takes a special kind of person to shop at Walmart. Thank God they haven’t opened any shops in the UK – Pleeeeese Mr Cameron, don’t let them in????

Roy.

The Curse Of The Plastic Bag Returns

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Government, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, Pacific, Parliament, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 29/07/2011 by floroy1942

Despite government campaigns, environmental group actions, and other publicity on the dangers of supermarket plastic bags over the past five years, their use is once again on the rise.

People are turning back to the ‘one-use’ bag instead of the multi-use ones now available. The consumption of these items has risen from 6.1 billion in 2009 to 6.4 billion last year. Not a significant rise you might think, and certainly better than the 10.7 billion bags used in 2006.

The Infamous Plastic Bag

Why shoppers are going back to their old ways and ignoring the danger to the environment is to date a mystery. It would seem people no longer believe in doing what they can to save the planet from pollution, despite the discovery of the Plastic Islands in our oceans. Recycling Minister Lord Henley has suggested that if the current situation continues there may be need for legislation. Personally, I would think the sooner the better!

Although this would not solve the problem completely, for we still use plastic rubbish bin liners for example, it would go a long way to cutting down on the mountains of plastic that are currently polluting our world.

Plastic Bin Liners In Use

This information shows clearly that people are not willing to change their ways, and the supermarkets and retailers too are not interested, despite earlier promises. Therefore I would say legislation is imperative. Laws must be passed to outlaw plastic bags once and for all time from the High Street, and replace them with the old-time paper or cloth bag.

Environmentally Harmless And Recyclable

Paper bags were good enough for generations following Francis Wolle’s invention of the first paper bag making machine in 1852, and everyone used them prior to the introduction of plastic bags by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin in the early 1960’s. Since that day the number of plastic bags in circulation has soured and billions are used every day throughout the world.

The largest users by far are the Chinese, but they at least are taking positive steps to cut their usage. Laws introduced in 2008 banned single-use bags and has received a positive response from shoppers.

One side effect of getting rid of billions of plastic bags will be the huge saving made in oil from which they are made. It is estimated the measures taken by China have reduced its oil consumption by around 3 million tonnes of oil per annum. That’s an awful lot of oil! So, what if the ban was total and  world-wide?

Animal Life And Plastic

In order to cut down the massive pollution caused by these items, it is clear that plastic shopping bags should be consigned to history as one of man’s greatest environmental mistakes. Their use, reusable or not, can no longer be justified in today’s world. We have enough pollution problems, and let’s face it, would we really bemoan the loss of the plastic bag when we have so many environmentally friendly alternatives? I think not!

My wife and I keep several cloth shopping bags in the boot of the car and never accept the plastic alternative from the supermarket. It is such a small step, but if more people did that we would not need the plastic bag any more. Obviously, many are either too lazy to take such steps, or just don’t care, which is a shame. It is for this reason I believe legislation in this area is desperately needed.

Headed For The Plastic Island

Shoppers, like most other people, always look to the easiest option and don’t care what happens so long as it doesn’t intrude into own little ‘world’. Perhaps though we should all stop to think about what we are doing to our planet for the sake of our children.

What we do today will have a great impact on their lives!

Food for thought perhaps?

Associated Posts:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/the-plastic-island-part-2/

Roy.

What’s in the Package?

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Health, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 17/02/2009 by floroy1942

Supermarket PackagingThe big ‘Tizzwozz’ in the U.K. news today concerns the supermarket packaging of our daily groceries, and what a ‘kerfuffle’ it caused!

Local Councils are complaining they are running out of space to dump all the non-biodegradable packaging that is flowing out of the supermarkets, and the percentage of it that IS recyclable is far too small. Wow! Welcome to the real world guys, you must have been asleep for a long time.

The Plastic Menace

The Plastic Menace

Ever since the good old fully recyclable paper bag disappeared in the fifties, we have been inundated with plastic in various forms when we shop. If you put together all the global plastic rubbish from the last fifty years and placed it all in Africa, the entire continent would probably be buried to a depth of five miles (just a guess) or, adversely, we could fill in the Atlantic and drive to the States!

It does not matter what you buy, most of it is wrapped in plastic or cardboard, but does it need to be? Much of what is sold these days is not just wrapped, it is double wrapped. In the shops we see loose fruit and vegetables sitting next to pre-packed items that are identical. Why!

Acceptable Cardboard

Acceptable Cardboard

A frozen TV dinner is another fine example. It comes often in a sealed tray, which is then inside a cardboard sleeve. If the tray is sealed with a cardboard lid, then what purpose does the extra sleeve serve; good looks? The company logo??

The greatest environmental curse has to be the plastic shopping bag, which has taken over the lives of shoppers everywhere. I would not care to guess what the world-wide consumption in a single day is, I am sure however it would be staggering. If you filled each one to the brim you could probably empty the Mediterranean! As I live in Marbella, I’m glad that’s not likely to happen.

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

When I shop here at a particular superstore, the till girls have a set of hooks beside the till with plastic bags on it. They open a bag and drop your items in as they come off the bar-code reader and so on. I have often been amazed at how many bags I accumulate for a small number of items. Sometimes I get a bag with only one item in it and they are already getting the next one ready! The mind boggles!

The makers of women’s’ products i.e. perfumes creams etc. ( the kind of thing no decent woman can live without – Oops! Sorry Ladies) are the champions of wasted packaging.

How often have you opened a large beauty product box e.g. perfume, and found a small bottle in the bottom of the box? Whenever I go shopping with my wife for such things, I am amazed at the audacity of these companies, it’s as if they are trying to fool you about how much you are getting for your money. A word to the wise, when shopping for such things, it is advisable to peek inside the box to see just how much you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Anyway, to sum up; is it time supermarkets and stores cut down on the amount of packaging they foist off on us – Yes! Is it time we started thinking about the number of plastic bags we use – Yes! Is it time we started turning to more biodegradable packaging – Yes! Is there anything we can do about it – not much!

It is possible for shoppers to start re-using plastic bags when they are out and about, and I guess if we all started to remove all the unnecessary packaging at the till and left it there, supermarkets would take notice, but short of that I don’t see much change. Do you?

Keep your chin up – the level of waste is rising!

Roy.

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