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Supermarket fruit and veg packaging(5 Posts)
I am trying to go plastic free/zero waste. I have already achieved quite a bit but I am stuck when it comes to lunches.
In order to avoid buying lunch every day, I went to my local supermarket to buy food so my DH and I can take our own packed lunches (hopefully saving waste and money).
I bought, spinach, rasberries, blueberries (I specifically picked these as they are in season), plum tomatoes, nuts, mushrooms etc.
Everything was in plastic and is ‘not currently recycled’. I know there is a big push on supermarkets to get rid of this unnecessary plastic but in the meantime how do I buy fruit and veg with no plastic?
Also I live near three large supermarkets and there is no local greengrocer.
Do you have any help and advice?
It's not cheap, but I get a weekly Riverford delivery of fruit and veg. It's all organic, seasonal and delicious, and they are really thoughtful about packaging. Only things which need it are packaged at all and the majority of packaging is cardboard. They are trialling compost-able film to replace package and I think this will be rolled out to all their packaging in the next few years. It gets delivered to your door or designated safe place so super easy. A small box which is plenty for 2 starts at £12 p/week.
When I do have to buy supermarket fruit and veg I try and go for stuff which comes loose and put it in my own bags, or I buy tins which is just as nutritious as fresh - not criticising, but you did select quite a bit of stuff there which needs packaging and also some of it was probably grown in heated greenhouses and/or transported from southern Europe which has a significant environmental impact so there's more to think about than just the packaging. I'm not saying I never buy this stuff (we all have to live of course) but I do try and make good choices wherever I can even if this means we eat a lot more boring apples and root veg than soft fruit and avocados...
The best thing you can do is probably make sure to continue putting pressure on government and the supermarkets (write to the Chief Exec, write to your MP) re packaging and other ethical issues, sign petitions etc. The website ethicalconsumer.org has lots of good ideas too
@maxelly - what bags do you put the loose veg in that the supermarket will weigh?
Need to buy some!
Net bags with a drawstring. I've had mine years but you can get similar on Amazon (Lakeland were selling some but seem to be out of stock). They're practically weightless.
I use the paper mushroom bags for my loose fruit and veg in the supermarket. It keeps much better in paper too. I also have reusable mesh bags (from Amazon) for bigger things like potatoes. I understand about buying seasonal, and that's good, but things like berries etc are fragile and have a short shelf life. Apples, oranges, pears, bananas, grapes (can normally buy loose - remove from the plastic bag and put into paper), may work better in packed lunches.
My local Sainsbury's sell 'living lettuce' - it does come in plastic but it lasts a lot longer than prepacked salad as you just pick leaves as you need them and it regrows. Also, rocket grows really easily and requires minimal looking after so you could have a pot on your windowsill to use in sandwiches etc? I use old butter/ice-cream tubs to grow in.
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