If only there was a natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging that fruit comes in… Oh wait?
It seems rather strange how we take a pack of bananas, wrap it in a very thin layer of plastic packaging, take it home only to immediately throw the packaging away.
It’s slightly more acceptable with fruits like apples, grapes and pears etc. Only because these fruits tend to be eaten with the skin still intact. However, for fruits similar to avocados, bananas and oranges, it seems like a complete waste of plastic.
When I buy a big shop, with all my delicious fruit and vegetables, I tend to spend about 5-10 minutes unwrapping packaging and dumping it in the bin. Even though they are in the packaging presumably to be kept cleaner, I still wash them anyway.
The other problem with packaged fruit – and other plastic wrapped veggies – is that if you live alone, you may not be able to finish all of them before they go out of date.
Of all the pointless plastic in the world, plastic wrapped fruit and vegetables is one of them. Also, plastic bags is another pointless item when you can easily make paper ones. 5p will never reduce the plastic bag problem, if these companies want to reduce them, sell them at £20!
Worldwide, about a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, that’s nearly 2 million each minute.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), atleast 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year. Thus, polluting our waterways and even contaminating our food, but somehow it is still dominating our shelves, so one easy step to reducing the volume is removing plastic from our food.
Fruit and vegetables are washable and often come in their own compostable wrapping designed by nature. Yet we choose to display them in plastic trays, themselves cling-wrapped in another layer of plastic.
The reason why there is so much plastic is most likely due to advertisement. They usually have picturesque farms that have no connection to the production, a mere attempt at soothing our minds about where our food comes from.
You have a plastic covered steak with a picture of a happy cow, packaged fruit and veg, isles of sugary snacks and much more. The food chain has created an anonymous chain that is inaccessible to us, the eaters.
The food system these days is extremely bizarre, we have theoretically reversed natural human instinct. We become low on food, proceed to the supermarket where everything and anything lays available at a price. Or even get it delivered to our door – making the food come to us! Think about that for a minute.
The disconnection is only amplified by this plastic packaging, a small but very significant physical barrier between us and what we eat.
Just like with most things, the people (or the consumers) have the power to change anything, as this world is lead by the consumers. We just need to use our docile, spoon fed brains just that little bit more.
Supermarkets are led by us, if we continue to buy this pointless packaged food, the supply will not diminish. As we become more conscious about the produce we buy and the packaging we consume, so do they. One example is Marks & Spencer, which were one of the first to replace sticky labels with laser printing on its avocados in response to consumer demand for less packaging.
Now were seeing more weigh your own food, rather than a standard 6 pack of apples only available.
To combat this problem, we need to reconnect with our communities, governments need to supply grow-your-own fruit and veg kits. You could even buy from your local independent shops and markets, which also tend to be cheaper. Buying fresh, seasonal food also means our ingredients are more nutritious and free from potentially harmful chemical wrapping.
If you dislike food wrapped in plastic as much as I do, stop buying it wherever possible. Buy loose, seasonal produce in supermarkets and, if you have a greengrocer or market nearby, use them.
Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head