Tuesday, October 6, 2009


WHO says that a rose by any other name smells as sweet? Not true, if you were to take a check on the food products in a well-stocked supermarket. From bars of chocolates, sticks of chewing gum, tubs of ice-creams, bottles of shampoos to cans of my favourite baked beans, you will be swamped with a variety of choices.

So, what counts when you pay for your purchases? For me, as for many of you, brand name tops the list followed by the presentation or packaging. Commercial companies pay hefty sums of money on their brands and packaging of their products. And who ends up paying for all the frills and fanciful wrappings? We are so sold on the idea that what looks good outside must be the same inside that we fooled oursleves in paying for stuff that are priced way above their actual value because of incidental costs incurred on the packaging!

In many western countires where the rights and voice of the consumer is highly regarded, hypermarkets offer "Home Brands" with the minimal amount of packaging which cuts down the costs and yet still offer products of quality. Being the 'kia-su' that I am I took advantage of this when I shopped in such places. Believe me, you pay so much less for these "Home Brands" compared to the same branded stuff.
Home brand essentials like sugar, flour, bread, margarine, etc can cost as much as a dollar less! Boy, you sure make big savings on your shopping lists. Trouble with me is - I will get carried away and buy up more items than I ever need! So, there goes all the savings I had made earlier!!!

Some hypermarkets like TESCO and ECON-SAVE here are into "Home Brands" products now and you might do well to check them out. Don't hesitate when you have to make a choice as the quality are at par with the branded ones. So, why spend more when we can pay less and yet enjoy the same quality? I am constantly reminding myself this new-found truth.

Anyways, aside from having to foot out more for the fanciful packaging we are also guilty of contributing to the damage of the environ as the materials used are mostly not eco-friendly.

Here's an article from today's STAR which throws some light on how we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE" by not adding to the garbage glut with our living habits.Let's all take note and try our best to help SAVE THE ENVIRON for ourselves and our children....

( THE STAR, as it appears in FOCUS, Section Two dated 6th Oct, 2009)

FIGHT over-packaging – and the garbage glut – with these steps:

> Precycle. Choose the product with the least (or most environmentally friendly) packaging. If it is over-packaged, don’t buy it.

> Avoid food wrapped in individual serving sizes such as cheese slices, biscuits, juices, chocolates, non-dairy creamer and three-in-one drink sachets.

> Tell companies what you think. Write to the Customer Services Department and explain why you’re not buying that product. Feedback from customers can facilitate change.

> Buy in larger sizes. A 1-litre carton of juice will give you the same amount as five 200ml cartons, but less packaging waste.

Shop at the pasar – armed with your reusable tote and containers, of course. Produce sold at the market are not cling-wrapped or packed in polystyrene.

> Buy products with reusable or recycled packaging.

> Recycle your packaging. There will always be packaging. So make sure you drop the stuff into your recycling bin.

Source : http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2009/10/6/lifefocus/4824313&sec=lifefocus

More info on overpackaging:

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