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Packaging Airspace



In a finite World unabated consuming leads to an inevitable end of consumption sooner or later. We need a new way at looking at the way we use what this planet holds for us. Unfortunately most of the power to influence change is in the hands on businesses whose greed/desire/concern is for ever increasing profits and power which to achieve requires ever increasing consumption, and so the efforts are trending/racing in the wrong direction.


This is something I have been considering a lot lately. Unfortunately, the way our societies are designed and the way in which we choose to measure progress are both standing in the way of improvements.

I heard yesterday (it may have been in the history of accounting, Double Entry) that someone once did a report on the total cost of a Big Mac, and estimated it at USD200! We ignore these vast externalities at our peril.

Economics is a terrible tool for measuring progress; the first thing you learn is ‘let’s assume infinite buyers and sellers’ - and it goes downhill fast. The GDP counts car accidents as beneficial while ignoring all voluntary work. And accounting has all sorts of holes for those without conscience to exploit.

As for politics, you have to be a sociopath to get to the top, while the idea that any human government is a democracy is simply a convenient fiction! In the meantime, our ‘leaders’ all owe their positions to monied elites and must do their bidding. Worse, one oft-repeated claim I have heard is that governments are extremely limited in their ability to make decisions with the rise of globalisation - if they make ‘the wrong decision’ then global markets will punish them and the populace in much the same way that Greece was punished. So even if some radical government was elected that wanted to improve the lot of the ordinary person - they could not!

Things will get worse before they (hopefully) get better, and the manner in which governments are increasingly ‘cracking down’ on any form of public dissent or protest (currently using the ‘stop terrorism’ catch-cry) suggests that they know they have some credibility problems.


Does this relate to a product that is being marketed and a product that is currently being sold?
Are we paying for the product including the airspace or do we get the air for free?
Yes! the aroma of a freshly opened packet of roasted nuts. Without the added air what ever the product there would be no aroma. No chance of smelling if it has gone off?


Tune in to your nightly news and see the marketing of products that it involves - whether the product is the latest Drof motor car or some politician’s ‘new’ idea, marketing and selling is most definitely part of what my most was talking about.

Firstly, I welcome experts to correct me on this. The air is pumped out - not added. Oxygen is annoyingly reactive, so you don’t generally want it in your food packages if you want your food to remain edible.

Of course, in many circumstances this ‘air gap’ serves no purpose other than let the consumer think they are still buying the same product they bought last year at the same price. Hence, it is used to mislead and deceive - with any aromas being an unexpected byproduct that the company will then place a value on and start charging.



Re: slack fill: Yes I understand that the US does have a federal law that refers to “functional” and “non functional” slack fill.

However, from what i can see it has still been very, very difficult to get courts to give judgments in favour of allegations of excessive “non functional” slack fill.

The courts seem to consider that if the quantity is shown on the package in question this gives the consumer enough information to be able to make an informed choice between it and other products.

I guess the judgments are also influenced by the fact that the US requires the quantity information to be on the front of the pack, where it is easiest for consumers to see,

This is relevant to Australia where industry wants to be allowed to show the information anywhere on the pack and consumers are opposing this.

If industry is successful here, it might increase the probability of favorable judgments in excessive slack fill cases. However, I think the priority should still be to keep the quantity info on the front of the pack.


Perhaps if the manufacturer changes the contents in any way, eg total weight, number of units etc; consumer law requires the same packaging cannot be used?

We all might spontaneously combust if our next can of beer was only 2/3rds full? Or can of bubbles or coke or what ever you prefer.

For good reason the can sizes change to match the volume!

If it’s ok for drinks then it’s ok for everything else including ‘Pringles’. Perhaps the most expensive flavour on the planet after saffron?


The reality of manufacturing is that there are standard sizes for containers, and they are used for product or product+air as the case may be. The problem is many manufacturers are prone to use one or two sizes up and /or obfuscate the net weight to the best of their ability.


Must have also been included in the brief for the architects who designed the new Parliament House in Canberra?


Maybe, I reckon it is certainly in the brief for the occupants however.


Sometimes there is a win. Same product, same count. The box on the left is from 2017 and that on the right very recent and smaller in every dimension.


Definite win. Thumbs up for Telfast on this one :+1:


2 posts were split to a new topic: Cost of Generics vs Name Branded Meds