This week I’m reviewing what I bought and what packaging it came in.
As a starting point, I’ve created a ranking for my preference for packaging.
The best thing would be no packaging at all. Second best, reusable packaging or recyclable packaging such as glass, metals and paper/cardboard. Next best, recyclable plastic (excluding black plastic that can’t be recycled in my area, this goes under the next category.). The worst, packaging that can’t be recyclable – let’s face it, it’s probably going to be made of plastic!
Saturday morning and we headed into town to the Ross Country Market. This was their first week back since the Saturday before Christmas – and we were glad they were back!
We picked up celery (no packaging), purple sprouting broccoli (no packaging, held together with an elastic band), onions & brussel sprouts (sold in a plastic bag, not ideal, but I can take them back and they reuse them), leeks (no packaging, held together with an elastic band).
I took my own bag for life. Minimal packaging here – a good start!
Next we picked up a bottle of wine from Ross Wines (check it out!), with our own bag. Glass bottle, metal cap so all recyclable.
Our last stop before the supermarket was Wyedean Health Foods. I wanted to look at what they offered, packaging wise, and saw a few things that I will be switching to next time I need them. I also picked up a tub of dairy free ice cream – choosing a white plastic tub over one with a black lid.
Then it was onto Morrisons…
I took my own paper bags and was able to buy apples, pears, clementines, new potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms loose. I also picked up ginger, sweet potato, courgettes and peppers loose with no packaging at all. I had one option for a lettuce in a recyclable plastic bag so that went into the trolley.
Cucumber and beetroot – no plastic free option here.
A good start I thought, although very time consuming to bag everything up myself! And when I got to the checkout I found out that buying loose is more expensive than pre-packaged. Why is this?!
A pack of mozzerella – this was in a plastic packet but to my surprise it says recyclable (number 7 – which from memory is tricky to recycle. Note to self – look this up!)
Apple juice – plastic bottle with lid. I suppose I should have looked for a Tetrapak fresh apple juice but husband went to get this item because he was getting bored in the loose fruit and veg section – can’t blame him, even I was getting bored!
Soya yoghurt & oat milk – no choice on the packaging but all recyclable.
Ginger ale – these are plastic bottles but recyclable. I did look at Fever Tree as they use glass but at nearly 4 times the price, it’s too expensive.
Sweetcorn, black beans, tomato pizza sauce and self-raising flour – all in tins/glass/paper containers.
Shower gel and mouthwash only plastic options, but recyclable at least.
Handsoap – in the whole soap section there was one refill option. This pouch has 2 refills worth inside and is made from recyclable plastic (number 7 again). Why aren’t there more refills?
Noodles & risotto rice – not one single non-plastic option. I found a bigger pack of noodles than what I usually buy so I consoled myself that at least the plastic was going further (twisted logic?!)!! Surely these products could go in paper bags – we know what noodles and flipping rice look like by now don’t we?!
Streaky bacon & parma ham. No non-plastic options here. I wonder if I can buy parma ham at the deli counter and if they’d let me take my own container… has anyone tried this?
Frozen fruit – it all had plastic in some form or another. I went for 1 kg bag of “wonky” fruit as this will last me longer than the other options.
Burger rolls – this was on my list but as all the bread is covered in plastic and I’m not using them until later in the week so didn’t want to get fresh ones, I’ve decided to make my own (may regret this Sunday decision later this week, we shall see!)
Sea salt – looks good from the outside, recyclable cardboard box, but the salt is in a plastic bag inside.
Dishwater tablets – bit of a fail here. Last time I bought Ecover brand because they were on offer. But this time they weren’t so I picked up the box of “Savers” next to them. I’ve never bought these before and when I moved the box it sounded like they were not individually wrapped. However, when I got home and opened them they are individually wrapped so next time I’ll get the Ecover ones because at least the plastic wrappers are recyclable. (WHY do dishwasher tablets need to be individually wrapped?! Why don’t they make the box smaller and pack them in two rows so they don’t move about?!
Nurofen – cardboard box, I don’t actually know if the plastic/foil can be recycled. I’ve never even looked before!
Before I left, I put my plastic packaging that said “recycle at stores” in the bin – I’m not sure if that was the right place to put it as it said it was for carrier bags only. By the way, how small is that bin?! I bet you couldn’t fit 1 day’s worth of recyclable plastic bags in that bin if everyone took them back.
I left feeling a bit cheesed off. Why is it so difficult to shop avoiding plastic? And why should I have so little choice if I don’t want to use plastic? And why am I paying more for un-packaged goods?
Well, I guess I should ask Morrison’s these questions. Let’s see what they say.
If not me, who? If not now, when?