The Real Price of ‘Pretty Packaging’

The Real Price of ‘Pretty Packaging’ - Prickly Thistle

Ever heard someone say they bought something ‘just for the box/bag?’

Any experienced marketer will tell you that the way a product is packaged can be just as important for making a sale as the product itself. Then we have ‘gift wrapping’ stations in shops, where one can watch in wonder as their item is wrapped, tied, primped and adorned.

Hey, everybody knows we are advocates for doing things by hand and adding that special personal touch, but the reality of this façade has a sinister undertone. Aye, the experience can seem magical... but the fairytale does not have a happy ending. Aye, we respect the skill and there is a lot of artistry… but also a lot of unacceptable pollution...

Humanity is currently responsible for producing 8 billion metric tons of plastic since the 1950s when it became a widely used material. Of that, around 6.3 billion metric tons has… been turned into waste, with just 9% of this rubbish being recycled and 12% incinerated. What of the rest? It’s an easy guess to make that it goes into landfills and the planet’s waters.

This situation is a poisonous apple, the fool’s gold, the wolf in sheep’s clothing… because at first plastic seems to have great protective qualities such as its strength and durability which are assets in packaging. But then, after this primary use for transporting an item safely from a factory to a shop/the home has been fulfilled, plastic becomes a menacing hindrance because it takes hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years to break down. So instead, it sits in it’s ‘dumped’ spot and releases harmful toxins into the air, clogs up natural spaces, and kills wildlife (not to mention the part where it’ ingested by animals that ultimately end up in our food chains).

It is not breaking news to say that plastic is killing our environment and subsequently…us. Everybody knows it, yet despite this, we cannot seem to kick it.

The average plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to break down. It’s no wonder countries such as Rwanda and Kenya have completely banned them, with hefty fines administered to anyone who is caught with one!

So, with gifting season coming to us in these latter months of the year, we urge you to be mindful of the packaging… give your loved ones the gift of a healthier planet by going plastic free!


Clare and the team


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