Stop using plastic bags for vegetables!
Ever insightful with her brilliant Change the World Wednesday Challenges, Small footprints is taking us to the shops this week.
As she wrote “We’ve learned to say “no” at the checkout stand … now we’re going to say “no” in the produce department”.
This is a great challenge.
2 years ago I gave up plastic carrier bags and this included the produce bags, so I’m the Queen of naked shopping!
Most plastic produce bags are made of Low Density polyethylene, which is plastic code #4. This can be recycled, so it’s not a total baddy. However, reducing our dependence on plastic products is a good move and here are some ways to gradually ditch the plastic produce bag:
If you really, really want to use the plastic produce bags then make sure you recycle them at the end of their useful life. Many large supermarkets that offer carrier bag recycling, will take back the produce bags too. Currently, only 7% of plastic is recycled but1.8 tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of recycled polythene produced.
Instead of bringing home disposable plastic produce bags and throwing them in the bin, put them somewhere safe (with your reusable shopping bags is ideal!) and take them back to the store with you for reuse.
Instead of taking fresh bags at the shop, take a look around your home and see what you already have – frozen food bags, bread bags, cereal inners – all of these can be stored and taken with you next time you shop. 57% of litter on beaches is plastic, so keep yours close to you and keep reusing it.
This brilliant invention will get rid of plastic produce bags forever! The Onya Weigh is a tiny pouch which contains 5 strong mesh bags. They are see through and you can use them like a colander to rinse your produce! If you’re a whizz on the sewing machine, you could easily make some mini drawstring bags from muslin.
Boxes and baskets
If you don’t use a supermarket and shop at farmers markets or farms instead, it’s easy to take your own box or basket. Once a week we set off with a cardboard box to our local farm shop and just put things loose in there. We take the occasional paper bag for small things like grapes and cherry tomatoes.
In a supermarket, if I have to buy fruit and vegetables I don’t use any packaging at all. I just load it up on the conveyor belt. I often get asked if I want bags; like I forgot them or something, but I just say no and tell them why – you never know who is listening and might make their own changes!
What about you? How do you avoid plastic produce bags?