Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste on Your Next Grocery Shop
Single use plastic is everywhere in today's society, and it is no secret the damage it is doing to our oceans, animals, bodies, and ecosystems. Though we are making small steps as a planet to reduce the amount of single use plastic that we use; there is still so much more we as individuals can do that can make a big difference.
Below are five simple, affordable ways that you can reduce the amount of plastic waste that you produce on your next trip to the grocery store.
Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store
In Australia you can't get single use plastic bags at the grocery store anymore, which is such a good step in the right direction, however, they do still have 'reusable plastic' bags that you can purchase for about 30c. The best difference that you can make is to buy some of the reusable bags that aren't made of plastic, or better yet, use bags that you already have at home. I had about 5 reusable Harry Potter tote bags that I got from Dymocks years ago (it’s possible that I bought a few more books than I needed along with the bags), I still use those and honestly have found that they are more durable than the ones I have bought from the grocery store. I always keep my grocery bags in the car, if by chance I forget to take them into the store with me; I just load all my groceries back into the trolley after they have been scanned and then bag them in the car myself ( I actually prefer to do this as I can be quite picky about how they are packed). On the off chance my bags weren't in the car, I just load the groceries into the boot and bag them when I get home. There are many ways to be sustainable.
Buy the loose produce instead of pre-packaged
So much of the fresh produce is pre-packaged with no option to buy it loose. Things like berries, cherry and grape tomatoes, and spinach tend to always be pre-packaged, which leaves you with no choice but to either buy it (plastic and all) or to leave it behind. However, there’s other foods that come with the option of pre-packaging or loose, such as carrots, potatoes, onions, apples and so on. When faced with the choice; I always choose to buy loose and then package them myself before putting them into my trolley (in my reusable produce bags), which brings me to my next tip.
Purchase reusable produce bags
Purchasing reusable produce bags was for sure one of my best purchases of 2018, they're very affordable, and are such an investment. I like to keep all of my produce in these bags so that when it comes time to check out, everything is all neatly together. I purchased mine from ………… but there are many places that they can be purchased from.
Leave the cling wrap and snap lock bags on the shelf
One change that I committed to making in 2019 was to not buy anymore cling wrap or snap lock bags, once the ones I already have are gone; I won’t replace them. Instead, I am choosing to use containers where possible, as well as reusable food wraps and snap lock bags. Be sure to shop around to find a good brand. Unfortunately, the first reusable food wraps I bought never actually stayed on, they always slipped off not long after I finally got them in place. However, there are many options out there, some more affordable than others.
Bulk food stores
If you have access to a bulk foods store, then I definitely recommend giving it a go. Bulk food stores offer a large variety of foods free from packaging, you just scoop out as much as you want of any one thing, write the code on the paper bag, and move onto the next item. When you've got everything you need, head up to the counter and everything will be weighed. You pay by weight and only pay for what you need.
I hope these tips can help you on your journey to living a more sustainable lifestyle, if you have any other tips or tricks then please share them in the comments below. I would love to know what I can improve on when I go grocery shopping next.