Plastic Free July: Grocery shopping

As we’re over a week into Plastic Free July I thought I’d give a quick update on how it’s going, with a focus on grocery shopping…

One of my biggest plastic gripes is food packaging. Many a time I’ve gone grocery shopping and spent just as long putting the shopping away as putting the plastic wrappers in the bin. It’s complete madness how much plastic is used for food packaging. Much of it doesn’t even contribute to the food’s shelf-life or quality and can’t be recycled, an utter waste.

Here are my top tips to remove plastic from your food shop:

  • Take your own shopping bags – dead simple, but it’s surprising how many people don’t
  • Buy loose fruit and veg – either don’t use a bag at all or use a paper bag (remember, you normally wash it anyways and an orange already has a skin!)

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  • Get a milk man/woman – check out my post on bringing back the milk man/woman
  • Ask your butcher to wrap your meat in paper (big-up to Taylor’s in Ashby that do this!)

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  • Buy a pat of butter wrapped in paper/aluminium
  • Ask your baker to give you your bread without the plastic wrapper – then pop it straight into a beeswax wrap or bread bin
  • Buy loose leaf tea or tea bags without plastic – did you know most tea-bags contain plastic? (tut tut Yorkshire, you’re letting the side down here!)
  • Make your own ice-lollies – they’re also healthier
  • Buy ice cream in a block – this uses cardboard packaging instead of plastic and is great for ice cream sandwiches (a Grandma Cantwell special, thanks Theresa!)
  • Use washing powder instead of liquid washing detergent – it comes in cardboard
  • Shop at a zero waste / bulk buy shop – I went to The Clean Kilo in Birmingham this week, it was amazing! You simply take your own containers and fill up. I went with my Mam who was in her element. We got all sorts; washing up liquid, bran flakes, nuts, pasta, washing powder, chocolate, raisins…

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On a level, being successful at this takes organisation and more time than conveniently popping to the supermarket. But the more you do it, the easier it gets, and I genuinely believe supermarkets eventually will have to concede and start providing their own solutions to the plastic packaging problems. Morrisons are already making a start by letting customers bring their own packaging. It’s definitely progress.

How’s your Plastic Free July going? Do you have any tips to share on reducing plastic in your grocery shop?

If you follow me on Instagram I’ve set up a #plasticfree highlight – keep your eyes peeled for more hints and tips on here.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Ciao x

p.s It’s still coming home!

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