We're really not sure about this you know, really not sure

We're as fond of the white hot heat of the technological revolution as the next person but we're really not sure about this:

Avocados with laser-printed barcodes are going on sale at M&S as part of a drive to reduce paper waste.

The labels, which are etched onto fruit's skin with lasers instead of stickers, will save 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue every year according to M&S.

If that's what a business wants to do then let them get on with it of course. But there's at least the possibility that this isn't such a good idea. Paper seems to be about $1,000 a tonne, glue perhaps $2,000. So we're talking about a saving of $20,000, which is what, £15,000 a year?"

Sustainability is at the heart of our business and the laser labelling is a brilliant way for us to reduce packaging and energy use."


"We have the potential to reduce packaging exponentially which is very exciting."

There is just a hint of a soupcon of a suspicion here that we're not being entirely rational. Using fewer resources to achieve the same task is obviously delightful, it's the process also known as "making us all richer" because we can then do another thing as well with those resources so saved. But that soupcon, there's a possibility that we've reified packaging and the use of less of it. It's seen as something indubitably good, when in fact it should be a rational calculation each time. 

It isn't true that "less packaging" is a good thing, it depends, but that's just not how the public belief seems to be going, is it?