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Avoid Plastic Waste when Grocery Shopping

December 04, 2019

Cucumbers, limes and peppers in foil, sliced ​​cheese and cold cuts in plastic packaging, yoghurt in plastic cups. Who buys food and unpacks at home, is usually in front of a neat plastic mountain.

This waste is becoming more and more of a problem worldwide because it is mostly not recycled and pollutes nature and the seas.


The easiest way to downsize your plastic mountain

Do without plastic, if there are alternatives such as unpackaged fruits and vegetables, as it is offered in markets. Milk and yoghurt are usually also available in glass containers. But even with glass: the life cycle assessment is generally only useful if it is used multiple times and comes from the region. Instead of buying plastic bags, it is helpful to use fabric bags repeatedly.

Avoid Plastic When Shopping

Many supermarkets sell reusable nets that are reminiscent of laundry bags and in which fruit and vegetables can be transported multiple times. They weigh a bit more than the classic plastic knot bag, so some supermarkets offer variants with a barcode label that automatically calculates the net weight of the item at the scanner cash register.

However, this only works in the supermarket or discount chains where customers have bought the bag. If the network comes from another store, customers have to take out the goods at the checkout or accept the small surcharge. Unfortunately, the reusable nets are usually made of plastic fibres such as polyester.


How you should treat your household

In the household without plastic food, containers are practical and can be used over and over again as a foil. It is easier than buying in the supermarket to do without plastic in the household: glasses instead of plastic cups, metal cutlery instead of disposable forks, tap water instead of mineral water, fresh food boxes instead of cling film. It not only reduces the amount of waste but also saves you money.


A compromised list of tips for less plastic

1. Loose shopping

In more and more cities there are unwrapped shops where you can shop without plastic or disposable packaging. Lots of groceries can be bought in bulk even without an unpacked shop.

2. Fabric bags instead of plastic bags

If you always have a folded fabric bag or a shopping net with you, you can easily do without short-lived shopping bags and also save a few cents with every purchase. Reusable fruit and vegetable bags make thin disposable bags superfluous. You can even make the practical bags yourself quickly and inexpensively from scraps of fabric.

3. Reusable packaging

Many products are also available in packaging made of paper or glass, for example, yoghurt, milk or sausage and cheese from the fresh food counter. Questions do not cost anything - maybe your favourite shop is also one of those that fill the containers you brought with you?

4. Bread from the baker

In the supermarket, bread is almost only offered packed in thin plastic bags. Short-lived plastic that you can easily avoid if you buy bread from the bakery and transport it in a fabric bread bag.

5. Drinking water

Water in plastic bottles can be replaced by mineral water in a reusable container. If you don't want to carry around so heavily, you can switch to tap water and use it to produce sparkling water yourself.

6. Plastic-free supplies

Tupper and Co. are practical and usually last for many years. Nevertheless, you can use one of the many plastic-free storage alternatives for new purchases. With glass and stainless steel, you also make sure that no harmful substances get into your food. Even freezing works exceptionally well in plastic jars, which occur in many kitchens from time to time anyway.

7. Tin cans

Tin cans are often coated on the inside with a plastic coating that can emit harmful substances in the food they contain. By choosing products in glass packaging instead or cooking fresh vegetables and fruits yourself, you can reduce this risk.

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