The Chicken and the Trash dilemma
by Franke James
Last week Toronto Star reporter Royson James* spoiled my breakfast. What he said was very upsetting… Why did he have to spoil my illusion? I thought I was being healthy and green!
But no, Royson had to tell me that my favorite Loblaws President’s Choice ‘Free Run Eggs’ are packaged in clear cartons that cannot be recycled in the City of Toronto… I couldn’t believe it. I pulled out my trusty little recycling calendar only to find out that Royson was speaking the truth. (Dang!) In a frenzy, I called Loblaws to ask why — and what they could do about it — but despite a promise to return all phone calls within 24 hours, I have not heard back…
If you would like to call and ask Loblaws too, the number is 1-888-495-5111. Of course, the other side of the coin is that perhaps Toronto needs to upgrade their recycling capability…. But in the interim, why can’t Loblaws use paper cartons? Loblaws charges a premium for these fancy eggs — and I’ve been willing to pay it as I imagine the chickens happily running around in an “open concept, weather-sheltered environment, where they are free to roam, feed, roost, nest and perch.” That’s what the packaging says.
Am I sucker or what? But somehow the image of chickens cooped up in tiny little cages makes my stomach churn. It doesn’t sound healthy for the chickens (or us humans).
The Plastic Egg Carton has attracted bad press and infamy before. In February 2006, Treehugger awarded the Plastic Egg Carton the Waste of Packaging Finalist Award. They took issue with the extra flap needed, which increased the size of the package by 50%. They recommended going back to recycled paper cartons. Another reminder that simple is often the best.
But there is more bad news…
Fruit and vegetable containers made of plastic aren’t recyclable either (in Toronto at least).
Royson! This news is hard to swallow, but now that I know, I have to do something about it…
Loblaws number is 1-888-495-5111.
* Royson James is no relation.