We are at a new dawn in being eco-friendly and One Little Company are firmly on board.
Supermarkets are finally waking up to the fact that we want our weekly shop to support the environment and are letting us use our own reusable packaging at some of the (meat and deli) counters and letting us use our own produce bags when picking out loose fruit and veg. Some supermarkets; namely Waitrose are trialling refillable packaging on everyday items too. We’ll examine this more shortly.
The quickest and easiest most eco-friendly first step you can make is to take your own loose fruit and veg bags to the supermarket. The till staff will accept them as long as they can see what’s inside. You can pick from recyclable brown bags (which are slightly better than plastic) which you can purchase online or purchase and use reusable produce bags. These will go hand in hand with the reusable shopping bags and boxes that you already use.
Reusable fruit and veg bags are better for the planet and for your produce too: you won’t end up with slimy mushrooms or limp leaves (as the fabric can breath). Though please make sure that bags are easy to secure, so that your tomatoes don’t tumble out!
There’s more from the Independent on this here (and Turtle Bags are on there too!).
Back to Waitrose…
Waitrose are extending their ‘bring your own’ container trail to reduce plastic waste in its supermarkets. ‘We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging’… As part of the buy and refill scheme, items such as cereals, pasta, coffee and rice are available in large dispensers in some stores. You simply weigh your own container (this can be plastic or glass) and then the price is worked out for the difference in weight when the container is filled. The retailer also offers a pick and mix zone for frozen fruit as part of its “Waitrose Unpacked” scheme.
The thing that we love the most is that prices are roughly 15 per cent cheaper in the refillable section compared to packaged items so as to encourage customers to make the most of the eco-friendly initiative.
Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility for Waitrose, said the reaction to Waitrose Unpacked has been “incredible”.
“We are keen to take the ‘Unpacked’ concept forward and these additional tests will help us achieve this as well as understand its commercial viability,” she added.
“Through working with our customers and suppliers we will continue to learn and develop ideas which have the potential to be rolled out more widely.”
When the initial trial was announced, Ariana Densham, an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK, described it as “bold”. “The top 10 UK supermarkets produce 810,000 tonnes of throwaway packaging each year, so we need to see other major retailers taking plastic reduction seriously and following Waitrose’s lead.”
David Attenborough issues stark warning over plastic pollution;
“Lots of supermarkets are starting to sell loose fruit and vegetables, but this kind of innovation could spark a refill culture that’s so desperately needed to cut plastics in mainstream shops,”
Taking in your own Supermarket Reusable Meat and Fish Containers
Morrisons are doing a great job for this with Fish and Meat (not available on cooked versions due to hygiene concerns) being served in own containers. Though please do check with your local supermarket about taking in your own containers for use on deli and meat counters. Containers must be clean. Once full, a sticky label is the placed on the container ready for it to be scanned at the till. More on that here.
So let us know how you will make these steps. We are excited of course and hope that you are too. Get in touch to see if we can help with anything else eco wise!