If anyone has, like me, eclectic reading taste, you should enjoy The Daniel J. Boorstin Reader. The writer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. His collection is entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking,
Today, I thought of one piece in that tome, which was about packaging and titled From Packing To Packaging: The New Strategy Of Desire. In earlier times, people were sold small quantities of goods from barrels, crates, and sacks. These were wrapped in paper or put into cloth sacks, which each brought along. At some point, as described by Professor Boorstin, improvements in packing led to packaging, which in turn led to individual packages with brand names for what were only generic products (such as sugar, flour, soap powder, etc.)
Unfortunately, evolution does not stop, either in humans or packaging. I’m not going to touch the subject of flaws in humanity, but I will rant about excessive packaging. Some many resources are wasted on too much packaging material. And, don’t get me started on double-sealing to prevent tampering. I do not know how old people open things.
I carry a cloth bag to the baker to buy bread...and have to refuse the paper bags (one for each bread and another for rolls) each time to show up. Every clerks default reflex is to reach for a bag, printed with the store’s branding. I collect, return, and reuse bags from the green grocer. I use a larger, sturdier sack for purchases at the grocery store.
Unfortunately, I am one of the few people on this planet to attempt such foolishness as to swim against the stream of the Big Packaging...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.