In Praise of Plastic Bags

Sacs PlastiquesA really long time ago (well, you can see from the item above it was 1997), I spotted this entrancing poster in St Savin in France and desperately desired some copies of it. Look at all the shapes and sizes of bags gathered here.  I simply had to have it. We tracked down the exposition but alas it was Mardi and fermi. But the kind owner invited us in for coffee and showed us the sacs plastiques and gave us lots of posters. (There was a wondrous cave of plastic bags of every possible configuation but I loved the poster the most.)

So I salute this long-ago exhibition of the wonders of the throwaway plastic bag. It seems to me that the aim of packaging is to stop you in your tracks from throwing it away and instead make you place it in your Cabinet of Curiosities, preserved for posterity.

Here are some more pieces of packaging that were too exciting to be thrown away:

amarettiThis amaretti packet was the inspiration for the cover of The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. baking powderA never-ending recursion of tins decorate this baking powder.boy pateI don’t know what lies within this tin – it could be a sort of pâté of little boy. FlanThis FLAN is promising dinner party quality elegance with a hint of flamenco..

ploppThe very jolly PLOPP bar packet, and its friend, the DING DONG.ding dongFollowed by the reassuring tin for Sure Shield Laxatives.sure shield

This PUDING sounds delicious, especially in čokoládový flavour.

pudingThese always seem too beautiful to ever throw away.treacleAnd this is the piece of packaging that started off the story of Hermelin.Cheese Box

So now there is a Plastic Bag Tax, which is mildly inconvenient and some might say futile (in terms of the scale of waste plastic altogether) – but it does show the surprising effectiveness of a smallish tax-based nudge to change behaviour. ….hmmm – what to change next…?

 

PS: Thanks to Whit & Caroline for Plopp, Ding Dong & Boy Pâté.

What the Cretaceous…?

What the cretaceous Highlights from Herbie’s dinosaur collection: The Improbably-Modelled Prehistoric Creature Awards.

anky0212th place: is it a Kentrosaur? Or a sort of Ankylosaur?

Toro close up11: Maybe this beauty is a Protoceratops.

Yellow Rex In 10th place: I think this is some sort of stooping yellow T-Rex, but it might be an Allosaurus with neck problems.

Anky9: Another jaunty yellow one – perhaps a sort of Ankylosaurus that can amazingly walk about on two legs? – nice jolly lipstick.

Gadzilla8: Lovely green texture makes me think of Godzilla – again a dash of bright lip colour. Looks like a sort of hadrosaur – Corythosaurus, maybe?

Para close up7: Rather ghostly head-crest and glowing red eyes make this Parasauralophus look like a predatory visitor from an alien planet.

T-REX6: The modelling of the T-Rex is conventional, but it is given a hellish patina by a home-made paint job.

Horn nose5: Perhaps an Iguanadon modelled from the early times, when the thumb-spike was attached to the nose? But then, from the teeth it looks like a carnivore.

lizardy4: Nice active stance makes this lizard creature look like it’s about to have a round in the boxing ring…or is it doing some funky dancing? Not even trying to guess what it is.

DIPPYThird prize: This one’s just a friendly diplodocus who looks like he’s perhaps telling you a joke or having a chat about the weather.

steg03Second place: It makes me think anteater, but it’s actually Stegosaurus.

Mrs TriceratopsFirst place – this lovely Triceratops has really gone to town with eye shadow, blusher and lippy – a truly glamorous herbivore.

PS: If you love plastic dinosaurs, you might like this post from the Grant Museum, and also the DinoToy Blog, here’s a fab item

Bond Bands

Here is a prized artefact, the 007 Superior Quality Rubber Bands Box:

James Bands

The bands inside are looking in pretty good condition and nicely striped:

bands insideI like to think of Bond (or should it be Band, James Band, Licensed to Elasticate…) seizing a few of the rubber projectiles to pling peas in the eye of Dr No or Rosa Klebb or Blofeld or whoever it is that day, perhaps with a special catapult he’d been given earlier by Q.