Buying fruit and vegetables in modern Britain means returning home with a shopping bag full of unnecessary plastic packaging. Why?
I'm really making an effort to buy seasonal, British produce (organic when I can afford it), in an attempt to support our farmers as well as reducing my carbon footprint. I recycle food, plastic, cans and glass. Our lights sport energy saving bulbs , I've attempted to cut down on the time spent in the shower of a morning and I switch appliances off instead of leaving them on standby. There's lots more I can do but the point is, I'm trying to do my bit.
So, unpacking the shopping yesterday (from my reusable shopping bag), I couldn't believe the ridiculous amount of plastic that the 'fresh' (does that need saying) vegetables came wrapped in. Aubergines, pak choi, green beans and fennel were all choked in plastic. Only the courgettes escaped unscathed. The Women's Institute have for years been trying to raise this issue but if anything, the situation seems to be getting worse. And I don't have a choice - none of these items were available to buy loose. So who is deciding that our fruit and veg should be cosseted in plastic? Is it the supermarket bosses? On my regular trips to France, it is so refreshing to see the vegetables sold loose, oddly shaped and all sizes as nature intended.
So it seems we continue to accept the 'sterilisation' of our shopping. Should we jump into the car and go to the farm shop a few miles away, thereby adding to the pollution? This article from My Zero Waste includes a few helpful facts and tips. Whatever we choose to do, at least we're all becoming a little bit more aware of the implications of our choices. Meanwhile I'm off to send an e-mail to head office. You never know..