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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 11:13 GMT
Your top six waste hates...
Over the last few weeks you have been sending us your 'Waste Hates', and here are the top six.

Jane Bickerstaffe, from the Industry Council for Packaging & the Environment and Tracy Stewart from the Absorbent Hygiene Product Manufacturers Association, have given their responses to each one.

1. Fruit and Vegetables in wrapping

Broccoli
Your number one hate

Vanessa Crighton: "I hate heads of broccoli wrapped in clingfilm and each pepper wrapped in clingfilm - they are hard to get off plus it leaches oestrogen to the vegetable which is bad for men!"

Jane says: "Fresh fruit and veg is often packaged these days but there are lots of reasons for this.

For exampleż grapes are bagged to stop accidents, apples sold "loose" generate 27% more waste than those sold in a 4-pack, bananas are bagged to differentiate the regular ones from Fairtrade and organic.

"Packaging used for fresh fruit and veg is 125,000 tonnes, equivalent to 2.6% of household packaging and just 0.4% of household waste."

2. Carrier bags

Karen Pearcey: "If everyone had to pay for them they would wake up and buy reusable bags instead."

Jane says: "There's a simple solution - take your own bag! Taxing or charging for bags is not the answer. The result of imposing a levy on thin plastic bags in Ireland has actually been to increase the use plastic because people now buy thicker tailor-made rubbish bin liners instead of using carrier bags."

3. Men's shirts

Rob Anning: "Why can women buy blouses on rails but men have to buy shirts which are stiffened, pinned, cellophane wrapped and box?"

Jane says: "Men's shirts for casual wear are sold unpacked on hangers but dress or formal shirts come in a greater number of sizes (and half neck sizes) and need to be shown buttoned up to the neck.

"Folding the shirts and wrapping them in a thin bag is one way to keep them clean and in good condition. There are far fewer pins and plastic pegs than there used to be and companies are always looking for alternative, better ways of packaging them."

4. Disposable nappies

Disposable nappy
Your number four hate

Elizabeth Chase: "Nothing could impact more on landfill out of supermarket purchases than the use of real nappies."

Tracy says: "Disposable nappies only make up 0.1% of what goes into landfill, and in recent years we've cut down on packaging and reduced nappy size by 40%.

"When you take into account the whole environmental profile - including energy and water consumption - disposable nappies have a similar impact to reusable nappies. Ultimately it's personal choice: people want to take into account skin health and hygiene in hospitals, the home and nurseries."

5. Tablet packages

Tim Farrelly wondered about tablets - why are two identical sets of tablets sold in very different packets..?

Jane says: "I'm not sure why the box should be bigger for identical pills but pills do need to be packed in a number of layers for good reason. Most are packed in foil 'blister' packs so that it is obvious if they have been tampered with.

The blisters also act as a child protection measure. The blister packs are then put in a box to protect the blisters from being 'popped' open and usually to also contain an information leaflet about use and potential side-effects."

6. Chewing gum wrapping

Chewing gum packs
Your number six hate

Mr R. Chandler: "There's two layers of cellophane followed by three layers of paper and foil!"

Jane says: "There are a number of different ways to wrap sticks of gum and gum "chicklets". Obviously the packaging has to protect the gum to keep the flavour and keep it fresh but companies are also concerned to encourage consumers to dispose of the gum thoughtfully.

Some gum is packed in paper in a cardboard 'wallet' so the paper can be stored temporarily for wrapping the used gum in before throwing it away."

Join Jon Sopel and guests for the Politics Show Sunday 21 January 2007 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.


What do you think? Would these be your top six - or do you have other offending items of packaging... you can reach the programme by using the form below to message the Politics Show.

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