A slightly more focused whinge this time.
Sainsbury have switched the packaging of their Basics-branded Chopped Tomatoes from cans to cartons. This sounds like a good idea if it saves me 1p per 400g, but it causes some problems:
Opening. Now, a can isn't easy to open. It's a well-sealed unit designed to keep out vermin, bacteria and small children. Packing tinned food and forgetting the tin-opener can lead to hours of frustration (see "Three Men In A Boat"). One of those Swiss Army Knife attachments might just save the day, but you don't have a hope if left with your fingers. But, due to my extensive collection of bourgeois kitchen equipment, I *have* a tin-opener. Cardboard cartons have an ill-defined bit of perforation, the cardboard is quite likely to rip at other points, and the spout isn't really appropriate for chunks of tomato (not that it makes for precise pouring when there's juice in the carton, mind). When opened, it's still impossible to get a bit of cutlery in there to scrape the last bits out. I assume it's designed to be doable entirely with fingers, but I still end up relying on tools - scissors or sharp knives.
Recycling. I have no information on the relative damage to the environment of cans vs cartons. The information I do have is what the council will come and collect: Cans go in the blue box that sits outside my home and gets taken away once a fortnight. Cartons go on the pile in the kitchen, which builds up and up and up until I have enough to fill a backpack, at which point I take them to a carton recycling facility. There's one down at Redbridge, and (apparently) one in the car park of Cowley Rd Tesco. The last time I made the trip, the carton bank was full enough that I had to squish them in one by one, and there were lots of WASPS, no doubt interested in all those juice cartons that hadn't been washed out properly.
So what am I willing to do to save the planet? Break fingernails on cartons, or even buy a new tool? OK. Cycle to the recycling? OK. Spend over a minute disturbing nasty little stinging insects? No bloody way. I'll try Tesco, and if their carton bank is as grim... well, I'll be near Tesco, where the cheap chopped tomatoes come in tins.
hear: Stiff Little Fingers - Tin Soldiers