Plastic-free Fruit & Veg

Like many of you I’m sure, I watched Blue Planet II and listened to David Attenborough’s narrative about the damage our plastic pollution is doing to our planet with utter horror.

Ever since, our family has made many changes to the way we shop as a result. We no longer buy fizzy drinks and fizzy water in plastic bottles; we opt for cans and a second hand soda stream (from eBay) instead. At the beginning of the year, we started to buy food items such as pasta, rice, oats, dried herbs and spices from a zero waste shop in our local town. We have switched to shower gel and shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles. I am the proud owner of a bamboo and stainless steel razor, which I use with a shaving bar and brush, just like I remember my Dad doing as a kid. At first, I was a little nervous about using it (!!) – I’d convinced myself I would cut my legs to pieces! I am happy to report that I didn’t, and in fact I now cut myself less than I used to with my old plastic razor.

One area of our shopping that I have found increasingly frustrating is buying fruit and veg. If you go into any supermarket now, even the ones “making an effort” with a small selection of loose fruit and veg, most of it is still wrapped in plastic. We use a lot of mushrooms, our favourites being chestnut mushrooms, and these are NEVER available loose in supermarkets. Only the white ones. Also, it is generally more expensive to buy many items like tomatoes, peppers and potatoes loose than it is to buy them pre-packed. Absolute madness, and bloody frustrating too!

I started shopping at a local green grocer recently. I’d passed it a few times on the way to my son’s weekly home ed science class. It looked really inviting with lots of fresh food on display outside!

The green grocer has a huge variety of fruit and veg, and I would say 85% of it is un-packaged. It has not only white mushrooms loose, but chestnut, portabello and oyster mushrooms too. Some of these are locally grown.

Is has about 6 or 7 varieties of apples, all loose! Cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflowers, oranges, onions, garlic, peppers, lemons and limes. All plastic free and all clearly labelled with their origin, so you can be conscious of food miles when you shop. There are brown paper bags to use if you wish (plastic ones available too which is a shame.) I use re-usable eco bags and paper bags if I have run out of those.

We now buy pretty much all of our fruit and veg from this shop. The other added bonus is that I get a workout carrying it all back to my car. Who needs to be lifting weights in a gym when you can walk 10 minutes with bags of potatoes, apples and cauliflowers!

Last weeks plastic free fruit and veg shop

Price wise it’s working out just a few pence more expensive (less than 50p a week generally) to shop this way. The fruit and veg above set me back less than £18.

Do you have a local fruit and veg shop/market that you are able to buy from?

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