GREEN

Plastic Packaging Is Good for the Earth? A Flawed Assumption

04/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Plastic-wrapped fruits, says James McWilliams in the New York Times' Freakonomics blog, are a good thing, not just for ensuring my son eats his apple (or orange) each day but also for landfills. McWilliams' argument is this: Just a little eensy bit of plastic packaging -- in the case of cucumbers, just 1.5 grams! -- extends the shelf life of a fruit or vegetable significantly.

His post infers, if it does not quite make, a fallacy that is common in many set pieces on environmentalism: That energy is expended through failure to conserve. This argument, much like the one claiming eating peanut butter uses less energy than hamburgers, is not quite true.

Read more on Daily Finance

Suggest a correction