Last year, War on Waste aired in Australia. The show tapped into the wider consciousness and made conversations about things like excess plastic wrapping normal watercooler chat rather than something for eccentric greenies to worry about. For a grand time there, petitions about plastic bag bans were all the rage, reusable produce bags became a thing and there was hope…fast forward to 2019 and while the major supermarkets have phased out single use plastic grocery bags, they are cheerfully wrapping fruit and vegetables in plastic on Styrofoam trays. Claims that this is to protect the produce don’t ring true – I’m pretty sure we all managed to buy veges back in the 80s and 90s packaged in nothing but their birthday suits AND we could buy just one piece if we wanted to! We weren’t forced to buy them on handy trays of four (three of which inevitably end up in the bin because we only wanted one! (Coles, Woolies, Aldi – are you listening??)
Over the past couple of days, I’ve read articles about a Thai supermarket Rimping wrapping fresh produce in banana leaves – GENIUS! and also about Tesco introducing a trial of plastic-free produce in England. Rejoice, lovers of being able to choose fresh food in the quantity you prefer without needless plastic! Rejoice, all who know bananas, oranges, avocadoes and many other fruits and vegetables are safe in their own naturally grown protective skins! And cross your fingers that if we speak loud enough for long enough, the big supermarkets will realise customers DO NOT want their plastic rubbish wrapped around our food.
In the meantime, don’t forget to pack your reusable grocery bags, reusable produce bags and to choose the loose items when you can – or better still, just shop at your local farmers market when you can and let your money do the talking!