Fruit and Veg on the Loose

25 October 2018

Does it annoy you how much unnecessary plastic packaging supermarkets are using for fruit and veg? Almost every item is covered in plastic. The worst cases are loose items that are individually wrapped. Why does one broccoli need to be shrink wrapped in plastic? Or a single aubergine wrapped in a plastic film?

I feel like supermarkets have forgotten fruit and veg comes in its own natural, protective skin. Saying 'goodbye' to unnecessary plastic would save supermarkets packaging costs and customers the effort of washing and recycling it. Produce stays fresher for longer the sooner it's removed from plastic packaging, so it can 'breathe'. Who wants to buy a packet of mouldy lemons anyway? Fruit and veg is so much more vibrant and inviting in its natural form and this should be celebrated!

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Convenience options are encouraging people to buy fruit and veg in plastic trays and bags. But if we all took time to prepare more fruit and veg from scratch, this wouldn’t be so much of a problem. People are becoming ‘too busy’ to chop their own and pay for the convenience of having it prepared for them at a cost to the planet.

It is sometimes possible to avoid plastic packaging, but it often costs more. I can buy a loose avocado, but it is more expensive per kg than the twin pack that comes in a plastic tray and film. Or I can buy the cardboard box of oranges that are more expensive per kg than the ones that come in a plastic net. 

Recently, I bought reusable cotton produce bags that I take to my local greengrocers to avoid using plastic bags. I've had so many compliments about them and enjoy explaining why I'm using them to raise awareness. I’d recommend shopping at greengrocers over supermarkets because they offer a much wider range of package free fruit and veg. Plus, it’s better to support our local businesses!

If we don’t sort this now, who knows what we might see in our supermarkets next?

But things are starting to change! For the first time, I had the option of buying a cucumber WITHOUT any plastic. Even my local community has started a campaign to encourage people to return plastic packaging to our supermarket once a month. 

What’s the worst case of plastic packaging you’ve seen?