It’s the often forgotten feature of our shopping sprees and favourite products but packaging has played a vital role in many aspects of our lives.
A new display at the Armidale Folk Museum, From Plants to Plastic, charts the development of packaging from early natural plant based carriers to the development of glass, paper, canned food and the revolution of plastic packaging.
“Medical care, marketing and the extended shelf lives and transportation of food are all examples of how packaging has changed our lives,” Museum Team Leader Hayley Ward said.
“Food is inextricably linked to packaging: storing and transporting food and water was an essential step in human development.
“From using gourds, leaves and hollowed-out logs to our modern-day dependence on single-use plastic, it is a fascinating progression that took many thousands of years.”
Some of the packaging on display also tells stories of our small retailers and businesses in the Armidale region. Local stores like Richardsons, Hanna’s and Dares Macs Fabrics all had their own paper wrapping, while cordial manufacturers in the region supplied an assortment of drinks with their own branded glass and stoneware bottles.
“Mallam’s Pharmacy provided packaging for medicines and there are some old tin food containers that many will recognise from their childhood,” Ms Ward said.
The display and a celebration of the roaring twenties, to mark next month’s release of the film Downton Abbey, are on exhibition at the Armidale Folk Museum until the end of October.
The museum is open daily from 11am to 2pm and entry is a gold coin donation.