Smiths crisps packet

Contributed by fran

Smiths crisps packet

I found this crisp packet on the beach at Covehythe in Suffolk on 19th September,2006. The packet can be dated to 1974 because of an on-pack offer for a wildlife poster with an end date of 31st December 1974. Covehythe beach has few visitors - this packet (like the other plastics on the beach there) was washed up on the tide. A UN Environment Programme report in 2006 estimated there are over 46000 pieces of plastic floating on every square mile of sea worldwide. I collected this packet as part of a personal challenge to 'save' one square mile of sea whilst walking on beaches near my home. I have since found several packets from the 1970s and even a fragment of a pack with pre-decimal pricing. Plastics and packaging floating in the sea are mistaken for food by wildlife, resulting in the death of an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and over one million seabirds every year. I have no idea how the print on this pack has not eroded over time - modern crisp packets quickly fade in the sea. The huge volume of plastic in the sea tells a compelling story about the way we live now, which will result in a legacy of plastic particles in the environment long after the oil runs out.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 13:11 on 3 October 2012, Karen wrote:

    I was born on 31st December 1974. It is so sad to think that this packet was intended to come to the end of its useful life at about that time, yet has remained out there, polluting our sea for all that time. Now that we know the consequences of using plastics, the manufacturers have a responsibility to be much more inventive and sensible about packaging materials. We all have a responsibility to think about what we buy, how we dispose of it and to try to do something about reducing the pollution. Well done, Fran!

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About this object

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Location

Smiths factory in Richmond.

Culture
Period

1974

Theme
Size
H:
16cm
W:
12cm
D:
1cm
Colour
Material

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