Your grocery shop can be like walking through a minefield, there's plastic packaging wherever you go. Here are our top tips for getting out plastic and waste-free.
Have a plan. Before you head off on your weekly "hunt" make sure you have a plan. Check what's in your fridge and pantry already, find recipes using those ingredients and write a list of what you need and stick to it. (Also make sure you're not hungry, you'll end up with more on your trolley)
Be prepared. Remember to take back your soft plastics and remember your reusable bags, containers and small produce bags.
Deli dash. Choosing plastic free meat and poultry is almost impossible. BYO container to the deli section and ask the staff to pop your purchases in your container (you'll need different containers for each product). Tip: forgotten your container? Use your reusable coffee cup instead.
Fresh fruit and veg. This applies to shopping at your local markets as even though the produce is generally fresher there is still a lot of plastic waste. Be mindful in the fresh food section, choose veg that doesn't come in plastic packaging and when buying smaller items like beans and Brussel sprouts use these small produce bags or the paper mushroom bags instead of individual plastic bags.
Shop the perimeter. Shopping on the outside of the supermarket isn't only the easiest way to eat healthily but it will also help you be greener and leaner! The centre aisles are filled with processed and packaged foods.
Bulk up. I do a monthly shop at a bulk food store (my closest is The Source Bulkfoods) where I BYO my own jars or bulk food set to buy items such as nuts, oats, legumes and rice plastic free. It works out cheaper and I only buy what I need.
Cost isn't just price. When comparing products between brands not only should you look at the price and nutritional differences but also look at the environmental impact that your choices have. Look for pasta in cardboard boxes, milk in glass jars, spreads and condiments in glass rather than plastic and make smarter greener choices.
Don't leave a trace. Say no to a receipt these are often lined with BPA and only some councils will let you recycle them.
It's a lot to take in all at once but try out just a couple of these steps at your next grocery shop to make a difference.
If you have any questions or want to contribute please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.