Supermarket packaging by Beth Moore

Filed in Blog, Guest Posts by on August 12, 2010 6 Comments
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Beth Moore

Beth Moore

Our guest post this week is from Beth Moore.

Beth is a 20-year old Graphic Design degree student and part time waitress and bar staff from Cambridgeshire, who likes walking, reading, films, live music and animals (not bugs or spiders though).

Beth contacted me regarding an essay she was doing on Supermarket packaging and how they encourage, support (or otherwise) customers to live the greener life.  She sent me her finished essay (for which she received an ‘A’!) and I thought it was so fantastic I asked her permission to share it today.

It’s a long essay, so is downloadable in pdf format. You’ll need a suitable pdf reader to view it:

Click the pdf logo below to download

pdf logo


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Antonio Pachowko says:

    I think it is a good article but it does not address any issues (i.e what supermarkets and Consumers should be doing).

    Another things this article has numerous scientific errors, which are very misleading

    1) Nitrogen is not a greenhouse gas as it is the main component of air (around 79% of air by volume is nitrogen)

    2) Carbon dioxide does not contribute to the hole in the Ozone layer, these are two seperate phenomena. The hole in the ozone layer is caused by the use of hydrocarbons in particular chloroflorocarbons(CFCs) which interfere with the ozone layer. The Ozone layer is mainly an ultra violet filter and the CFCs by acting as a free radical catalyst interrupts the operation of the layer. The hole has nothing to do with burning fossils fuels but instead of the use of CFCs in fridges and aeroseols. The use has long been banned since pre 1990. The hole size has not grown since the 1980s and the ban, in fact some scientist have said the hole is actually getting smaller.

    3) Beth has serious confused between the ozone layer and the blanket of carbon dioxide that contributes to the greenhouse effect.. Carbon dioxide allows solar energy to enter the earth atmosphere but does not allow it to escape, thus acting as a greenhouse.

    4) Most scientist would not class 2 degrees increase in temperature in 50years as dramatic but it of concern.

    5) the manufacture of plastics and its disposal produce CO2 but plastics themselves do not produce carbon dioxide.

    6) man is not the only source of carbon dioxide production. in fact volcano eruptions produce around 100,000,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, around 1% of the total Others sources includes deforestation and human and animal respiration produces which is a gas produced by all nearly all living things produces more 150,000,000,000,000 each year. Humans contributes small amount by burning fossil fuel. Another source of carbon dioxide are the oceans. As the ocean heats up it gives of CO2 and when it cools down, it absorbs CO2.

    7) in fact majority of fossil fuel are burnt to provide heat and not to make new products. In fact 25% of the CO2 produced by man is caused by vehicle emissions.

    The science in the article is poor and misleading.

  2. John says:

    I’d like to read the article by Beth, but it just won’t open for me, although I do have PDF on the PC! If the piece is about supermarkets and their slowness in getting rid of packaging, I’ll say anytime I’ve contacted one of the big 6 about the issues, I’ve always been sent rather standard replies, along the lines, of; “we are aware of customers feelings, blah blah… We take our duties seriously.. We are always looking for new ways to package our goods. ” Just business as usual!

  3. Nick Palmer says:

    Antonio is correct that the climate/atmospheric science in the PDF article is shaky but the substance about supermarkets and packaging is mostly fine.

    I would have liked to have seen ASDA mentioned as they are a subsidiary of Walmart – a giant American corporation who nevertheless have, in the last couple of years, put together a pretty impressive sustainability index policy.

    Here’s an article from Treehugger about it.

  4. Karin says:

    It’s come up a bit pale on my computer. I might try and copy and paste it tomorrow, but I’m hoping daughter will be home any minute so I can go to bed – not her fault, she had a late flight.

  5. the engaging smile of Miss Beth Moore will surely win a few to the green cause; her focus is correct if her science is not…contextual errors aside, the intent is well received, and her enthusiasm must be contagious.
    any effort in the right direction leads to better breathing on this crowded planet.

    a clean conscience will drive environmental popularity into fashionable life-styling…where to buy quality items becomes a goal and not another consumer race.. in the wake of this article, customers can send e-mails or love notes to their local stores and eventually drive the point of dire necessity to change the packaging habits of all nations.

    @ Beth: your focus is admirable, your experience is in progress, do continue.

    @ manufacturers and merchants: no more plastic packaging please! i can’t digest it…thank you.

  6. Jane says:

    The supermarkets are vying with each other for our custom and affection. We all need to eat so while the recession stopped many people from buying many other things food did not seem to be affected.

    The Tesco advert announcing that customers would get points for taking their shopping home in any other container other than carrier bag was brilliant – Alan Titchmarsh with an wheelbarrow full of shopping on the tube is an enduring image. (Even if I’ve misremembered!)

    We can use any bag we want to when we go shopping or none at all. It does not have to the supermarket’s own. Yet many people seem to feel uncomfrtable with this. Don’t be!

    I wish my local supermarket hadn’t put in those horrid little serve yourself talking stations where you can’t put your bag done comfortably without it sqawking at you. This encourages people to take the single use carriers which are hung there. Not a Bag for Life in sight.

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