Putting the squeeze on sauce sachets

HP Sauce fan Neil Grundon, deputy chairman of Grundon Waste Management, is a fan of squirty sauce bottles but wants to ban single serve sauce sachets. Here he talks about the plastic products he can and can’t live without.

Neil Grundon is deputy chairman of Grundon Waste Management

I thought it would be interesting to come up with a list of plastic products and packaging that I really like. Top of the list would be squirty sauce bottles, especially HP. Anyone who was young in the 70’s would know that at least once a week your shirt would wear HP Sauce to school, flung there in a desperate attempt to shake anything out of THAT bottle.

Neil Grundon – not a fan of single serve sauce sachets

Not squirty jars though, the mustard in a certain manufacturer’s squirty jar just stays in there and it annoys me.

Shampoo bottles definitely; imagine what sort of Russian roulette you would have to play in the shower if they were made out of glass? Plastic milk bottles are OK because they fit perfectly in the fridge alongside drinks bottles. Chewing gum tubs make a lot of sense, as do clingfilm and plastic biros.

OK plastic

Calculators, hard hats, snorkels, and watering cans are all pretty ok plastic things, but if I were a true eco-warrior I should have a metal watering can. I wonder if environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has one for watering his vegetables?

Plastic insulated wire is handy; bin bags, computer keyboards, window frames (unless you live in Dingley Dell cottage) air-conditioning units, buckets, toys, syringes, swimming goggles, flip flops, pipes and paint pots would all be tricky to replace with wood or metal.

In the interests of gender diversity, I’m adding to my list with hairdryers, straighteners, hair clips, and make up containers – with a wife and five daughters, I’m sure I should know many more of these, so feel free to add to your own personal list.

Given the above, it’s understandable that the Government has used the word ‘avoidable’ when it talks of plastic bans. It’s a brave person who would have to explain to my tribe that they could no longer use their hair straighteners.

If these are the things I’m in favour of, there are plenty of plastic items that I hate. We will take plastic cotton buds and straws as read, turtles CANNOT use them as snorkels.

“If, as consumers, we want to continue down the ready-packed, ready-to-eat road of convenience, then equally We need to recognise that we have to pay extra for its recovery”

Neil Grundon
Grundon Waste Management

For starters (no pun intended) my biggest pet hate is the accursed single serve sauce sachet. I appreciate the excitement of finding the last tartare sauce packet in the fish and chip shop dispenser – and it is just about acceptable in the UK where we can bury or burn such things – but why are they sold in countries where no such disposal facilities exist?That is called vandalism, and it’s a prison offence in many parts of the world. I can imagine nothing worse than a gust of wind blowing dozens of single serve ketchups onto a Bali beach; that is other than feeding dolphins plastic fish after they perform to the crowds in an outdated marine park somewhere.


Let’s face it, we are addicted to the stuff. Ever since the recycling logo was hijacked and replaced with a meaningless swoosh, today’s oblique messaging has given us carte blanche to package our bananas and slice up our pineapples for our posh picnics and hurl the remains away in reckless abandon into our recycling box.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no way I am forsaking my tofu and endive, endame, soy-infused nut box just because the packaging can’t be recycled. Unfortunately, it’s something that is always seen as someone else’s problem.

We have to recognise however that if, as consumers, we want to continue down the ready-packed, ready-to-eat road of convenience, then equally we need to recognise that we have to pay extra for its recovery.

Until then, I fear that more and more plastic will simply go floating off into the sunset.

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