Friday, July 04, 2008


Like it or not we now live in the age of carbon footprints, global warming and all sorts of different (and sometimes contradictory) ecological issues. One topic that I have covered very recently is that of re-cycling, and more especially, packaging.....

Short of selling our Albariño in tetrabricks, I am not quite sure how we could reduce the amount of packaging that we use - the bottle, some form of closure, and a label are fundamental, and therefore impossible to replace. I guess that the only valid argument could be made against the capsule, which in truth is probably more aesthetic than anything else. Our cardboard cartons (which are made from re-cycled materials anyway) are designed to protect our bottles in transit, and using an alternative, more flimsy material, would no doubt result in increased breakages.

And the real point of my story? - Living in a remote part of Spain as I do, I am a very big Internet shopper, and probably qualify as a UPS 'frequent user'. Parcels arrive from around the world in all shapes and sizes, but without doubt the most over-packaged of them all...... computer software. Have you ever stopped to wonder, why does the solitary disc of your programme upgrade need to rattle around in such a big box? Software manufacturers should simply use slimline jewel cases or CD sleeves, and include instruction manuals in a CD sized booklet. Your programme or upgrade would then fit neatly into a Jiffy bag. My guess is that it comes down to perception - value for money - if you're paying a couple of hundred pounds, dollars or euros for a computer programme, then you deserve a bigger, glossy box!

Witness two packages that I received very recently - see if you can work out which is the single music CD, and which is the single software disc?

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