Crappy Wrappy Snacky

Fighting a cold today and I’m blaming snack packaging.

After a few years teaching I have become a fastidious hand washer but there are situations in which it is impossible to keep hands decontaminated. One of the worst is lunch duty, particularly so for the junior school. The problem is that the majority of lunchbox snack packaging is difficult for children to open. If my hands are wet or in any way greasy they can be difficult even for me. The quality and nutritional value of such snacks is not at issue here. I for one know full well the daunting horror of a pantry without good lunch materials and therefore maintain a constant stock of a variety of fillers including the now illicit tree nut varieties as well as backup corn kernels and ancient crispbreads.

The real issue is packaging. It is simply bad design to wrap a single serving of chocolate biscuits in a wrapper which requires pliers and a blowtorch to open and then market the product to the parents of school children. I contemplated all this as a line of infectious little darlings approached me for aide in freeing their rations of sugar and salt from their plastic confinement, each having quite clearly tried everything up to and including their teeth prior to approaching me.

Let’s not even get started on the fact that this whole town much less the school has no recycling whatsoever, let alone for the soft plastics that make up the bulk of wrappers. Let’s not even discuss the ability of children to pick up easily wind blown rubbish after themselves without prompting. But do let’s dwell for a moment on poor design, poppers (small tetra pack juice boxes) straws in a design unchanged in thirty years still come either blunt or deadly sharp wrapped in a useless cellophane sleeve ubiquitous to playgrounds right across the country. Tetra packs themselves are an abomination, layers of plastic, paper and foil irreversibly bonded for eternity. Yogurt and fruit squeezy packs many of which still come with the small rasp like and easily swallowed cap, which thanks to the ratchet seal is impossible for little fingers to open. Crisp and biscuit pillow packs with heat sealed seams of greater than an inch. Single serve biscuits and dips with impossible to separate foil and blister packs, let’s not dwell on the grossly inadequate proportions of sickly ‘cheese’ to biscuit. Fruit leathers that come in a pillow pack and in hot weather chemically bonded to a nearly indistinguishable cellophane sheet. Biscuits and lollies that come in not only a pillow pack but also a completely unnecessary plastic tray. Boxed snacks with pillow packs inside. Wrappings which require fingernails, wrappings which require great strength and dexterity, wrappings which to be perfectly honest should not even exist. All will be brought before me and I will indeed open all for how can I turn children away to starve.

I blame the packaging industry for many things, but most of all today for feeling like crap. I’ll beat this cold and be ready for exposure to new and interesting infections on Monday.


Not a lick of creative work accomplished aside from some daydreaming about projects I would like to start but cannot until the present horde of projects are dealt with. Taking the evening off and retiring early.


Finished Mr. Robot last night. full review forthcoming, highly recommended with minor caveats. ‘Consolations of Philosophy‘ continues to impress. Discovered¬†Michel de Montaigne¬†through De Botton today, feeling particularly taken with his views on education. This view happens to align quite well with the latest in major toy company funded research incidentally.

A couple of metres of paving and a whole lot of digging in the soft damp soil of the orchard. New paths are coming and the brick piles are finally dwindling. Scheming even more tank garden beds and a couple of additions to the orchard to utilise the bare earth remaining.



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