Plastic Free July - Day 8 - Fresh Produce

I once did an experiment where I ate raw vegan food for one month. It was a bit extreme for me, but it was interesting in terms of waste. I bought all the fruit and veg I needed at our local market, which was brilliant, and very reasonable. I went along with my reusable bags and was able to buy almost everything I needed without packaging. The only culprits were cucumbers, which come in plastic wrap everywhere I look, raw beetroot, which come bunched with an elastic band and label wherever I buy them, and the little plastic tags and labels through the pineapples. But still, in terms of packaging, it was pretty good. And, save the afore-mentioned exceptions, all the waste was compostable! Our local greengrocers is also very good in this way. Where can you shop like this in your locality?

Berries are another problem, in their plastic punnets which prevent them from getting squished. Picking berries fresh from the bush on the hedgerows or on the allotment seems to be the only way to avoid that packaging where I live at the moment.

If the thought of taking on an allotment is just too much, consider involvement in a community farm or allotment. There may well be such a project near you. This has been a great experience for our family, as we have benefited hugely from the wisdom and companionship of others, the open space and sense of peace in our urban environment and the stash of berries in our freezer!

Fruit and vegetable packaging can be a real stress point for those of us trying to reduce our plastic use, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of this seemingly insurmountable problem. Failing all else, we need to flex our consumer muscles and put pressure on supermarkets - and on our governments - to rethink food packaging. There are rumours of plastic free aisles coming soon to supermarkets near you, and bulk stores seem to be springing up in our cities. Support these intiatives, and let's demand more top-down solutions which will make is easier for us all to make plastic-free choices.

#breakfreefromplastic #plasticfreejuly