Only now are retailers waking up to the huge impact that excess packaging waste from the products they sell is having on our planet. Noticing packaging, knowing what could be avoided and choosing low or no-packaging options when we shop prevents a huge amount of waste, and lets retailers know that we want to see less packaging on the shelves.
Next time you buy fruit and veg, don’t reach for the bags! Only the most delicate produce needs to be put in a bag; most produce can be bought loose, even when you are buying lots of single items like carrots or apples. If you just can’t go without, try bringing your own reusable bag each time you shop.
A lot of fruit and veg is pre-packed, which significantly adds to the carbon footprint of your produce, even if the packaging is recycled. Challenge yourself to minimise and ideally choose only fruit and veg that’s sold loose, and let your local shop or supermarket know that you would like to see more unwrapped produce on their shelves.
Look out for other ways to avoid packaging waste. Take your own pots to supermarket deli counters where fresh foods are available packaging free. There’s also an increasing amount of shops offering store cupboard foods to buy without packaging, or in packaging that’s easier to recycle; some shops will even let you bring your own reusable bottles, bags and jars. Bread, eggs and dried foods are just a few of the items on offer free of packaging in some shops. Even switching to loose leaf tea can prevent lots of waste from the billions of teabags we throw away each year.