The grocery sector accounts for 70% of packaging waste in the UK. About 4.9 million tonnes of this is household related, and much of this ends up in landfill or, worse still, in our oceans. Not only have our supermarkets become plastic meccas - plastic is finding its way into our marine life, up our food chain and onto our dinner plates.
Think about how much we could do just by changing a few grocery shopping habits. Starting with the obvious - ditch the plastic shopping bags. Whether its a stylish basket for your weekly shop, or a fold-up bag that fits in your pocket for impulsive shopping, pick something practical that suits you.
Nature already provides the perfect compostable wrapping for our fruit and veg. Ermm.... Did supermarkets not get the memo? Why are they putting avocados on a plastic tray in a plastic bag, and laminating cucumbers? To avoid plastic in the supermarket, shop the perimeter and avoid the middle aisles. Buy loose fruit, veg and bread loaves. Instead of using those flimsy plastic bags that stretch and break, bring your own produce bags.
If you want to go one better, shop locally at the farmers market, green grocer, baker, butcher and fishmonger. This will really boost your eco creds by avoiding the carbon miles. Some markets or grocers sell milk in glass containers, which tastes so much better. You could also look for local glass-bottle milk deliveries. Try bringing your own containers for meat and cheese.
Want to really nail the plastic-free shop? Look for a grocery shop with a bulk section to grab nuts, dried fruits, flours, seeds, muesli or tea. You simply scoop out the amount you need into your own containers or bags. These stores are rapidly gaining popularity with new ones popping up across major UK cities, and there are now many zero waste shops in London. Embrace the package free foods that are available. Eating whole foods is much healthier!