The Folly In Our Labeling And Packaging

Thursday, October 22, 2020

How many of you have traveled to the country ‘Imported’? I have not and I do not think anyone else has either.  It is a shame that the United States does not have tougher labeling laws for products sold in catalogs, on the internet, or in print.  

Most companies take pride, so they say, in how their products are made but not enough confidence in telling you where it was made, except, the country of ‘Imported’.  And when you chat with a representative, they, for the most part become defensive and take their time looking or searching to see where the item you are requesting is made. 

The law needs to be change.  All products need to have the country of origin listed in catalogs, on the internet or other print. 

The other labeling misnomer is when it says distributed by ‘XYZ company’, again no mention of where the product is made.  I questioned a company about an item that they distributed and where it was made, and their answer was in Alabama or Arkansas.  I did not and still do not believe them.  This is another labeling law that needs to be changed.  It can still say distributed by ‘XYZ company’ but made in USA or Mexico or wherever.  The consumer has a right to know where an item is made without having to ask.  It should be listed, actually it ‘must’ be listed. 

Ever since the tampering of Tylenol in 1983 the packaging of products has become more.  That is more packaging of an item.  It has been almost 40 years, seems like yesterday, when the Tylenol instance took place and in a world where we want less trash or recyclable materials it has become more trash and less recyclable.  Hard plastic covers on products are not recyclable.  Cellophane is not recyclable, but it is biodegradable.  Cardboard is recyclable.  However, any product that is recyclable that has waste, food, spill paint, etc. cannot be recycled. Nor can cardboard that is wet or that has food stains on the inside.  These items are trash.

I believe most products could be sold for considerably less if they had less packaging.  And they still can be secured from tampering.  And more packaging leads to more waste, most non-biodegradable, cellophane, hard plastic cases covering the product and like the new ‘green deal’ products, batteries (car batteries), solar panels, and wind farm arms.  All non-biodegradable, except cellophane, all taking precious metals out of the ground, and the cost keeps rising to make these items and land cost go up for the disposal of these non-disposable items.  These ‘green deal’ products that are going to save the world. They forgot they will eventually have to dispose of them and where do they go?  Gee, what could they have been thinking?  

But back to everyday packaging.  I remember when you could go into a grocery store and pick your own collard greens, carrots, or spinach, now it comes in a cellophane bag.  Like it or not it is packaged.  And potatoes wrapped and ready to microwave.  Have we, the American people forgotten how to microwave potatoes or even bake potatoes?  And apples, precut with a dip in elaborate packaging.  And pre-made salads with dressing, salad toppings all in a bag, that cannot be recycled because of waste on the bag. They must not make knives anymore for cutting apples or have recipes for making your own dip. 

I could go on and on with the prepackaged food items, already made for our use, without the consumer doing little except opening the packaging and eating.  We have become a world of ‘instantizers’, we want it now, not in 10 or 30 minutes. And, for the most part, we do not understand what can and cannot be recycled.  I am not an authority on what can and cannot be recycled but I know a few of the basic rules and from what I see, what little I know is a lot more than the majority of people know. 

Despite all the talk about ‘the green deal or whatever it is called’, little thought has gone into the disposal of these items, and it is costly, but … but in the end we have created another item that does not save the world.  Which we cannot save anyway, it is in my father’s hands “God”.  We can help, but not in the ‘green deal’ way, by taking tons of minerals out of the ground to make car batteries, that one day die and have to be disposed of, is not helping.  It continues to destroy the earth.  

Douglas Smith



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