Why buying plastic-free groceries is so hard (Marketplace)

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  • Published on:  Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Is plastic packaging out of control at your supermarket? We challenge two families to help us uncover why supermarkets aren't doing more to reduce plastic waste.

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Comment

  • Eusunt Dac  (Jan 13, 2019))

    All packaging should be bio-degradable, or illegal.

  • David Brewer  (16 hours ago))

    +r2dxhate There is a lot of truth & sense in what you say & I bet we could have a great time up the battle cruizer over a few pints on this subject. The statistics here in the US mirrors Canada & we are looking at 43% overall losses by 2030. However what the stats do not tell us is that 65% of those losses will be in the middle classes...& that is only 10 years from now. Without some really radical changes this is going to be the equivalent of 2008 recession but worse so the government...

  • r2dxhate  (17 hours ago))

    +David Brewer I think we're pretty much on the same page, but displacement is unavoidable. You said we need to "work in unison to make sure there is not job displacement & we move forward instead of backwards in employment." but there is guaranteed displacement in every field. In the next 10 years we could lose 50% of jobs, and in a decade or two more, we could be 80 or 90% replaced. It will be like the movie iRobot where Will Smith proposes a commercial idea. A human builds a chair, a...

  • Barb D  (Jan 12, 2019))

    Why in the world would you wrap a coconut?

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    to make the barcode stick to it for the job killing automated checkout...

  • eklectiktoni  (Mar 9, 2019))

    +janet They do that where I live. :O

  • Deja Vu  (Jan 13, 2019))

    What exactly was the point of making the zero-waste family switch back to using plastic? They live in downtown Toronto and are obviously very committed to not buying anything in plastic and generating plastic waste, and they're well aware of the challenges. It would have been more effective if you got a few different families (with children/ without children/ young professionals/ students/ older generations) to compare, if you needed the comparison.

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    Yes, I agree. The zero waste family are not "main stream" & they have more choices due to location, time, wealth & time. Most people here do not have these luxuries...

  • soluiz  (6 days ago))

    They are able to voice the cons of using plastic that normally ppl did not notice like portion control and compare it better being veteran waste free practitioners themselves

  • Dizzyallaround  (Jan 11, 2019))

    I will say the single cucumber wrapped in plastic always confused the hell out of me. When next to it the other cucumbers have no wrapping.

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    I think the issue is 1> They need to make the barcode stick 2> people eat the skin of the produce so the liability from contamination makes the insurance firms vulnerable...

  • random stuff  (Feb 13, 2019))

    I could be wrong, but I believe there are 2 main reasons to wrap produce in plastic (and neither really benefits the consumer):1) "value added" the more you process something, the more you can mark up the price2) keeps it looking fresher (note: doesn't mean it stays fresher, just looks that way)

  • M Dion  (Jan 15, 2019))

    Couldn't grocery stores go back to paper bags?

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    In a lot of cases yes, & remember we also have waterproof paper in the form of wax paper coffee cups.

  • Nick Gariti  (1 day ago))

    My town has banned plastic bags and most stores use paper bags now

  • Dylan Tazzioli  (Jan 14, 2019))

    It is so pathetic that there's something that we can actually do about it - but most don't take initiative because we're so lazy... definitely going to try and implement this as much as I can

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    To make people accept it & opt in, the right thing also needs to be easier and/or cheaper because many out there are simply not willing to put effort into it.

  • manictiger  (2 days ago))

    ​+I can survive university. I'm Rachel! No. The poor are poor for purely mechanical reasons.They buy tiny amounts of food with high price-per-lb.Instead of massive amounts of food with rock-bottom price-per-lb.For example, a 20lb. bag of rice, 4lbs. of salt (I like buying in 4s), 4 liters of oil and some seasonings gives you something similar to Top Ramen, but at a far better price-per-lb.Microwaving and boiling take about the same amount of effort.Set a timer, boil, let cool, eat.Set a timer...

  • Just a Knight  (Jan 12, 2019))

    Coconut in a plastic wrap is a complete joke.

  • Barbora Sedláková  (14 hours ago))

    +James Bainton this week I've actually seen those cucumbers without the plastic, they started to sell them in local supermarket and I was excited like little kid in candy store when I saw :D

  • whichwitch  (23 hours ago))

    Indeed... Coconuts literally are their own container.

  • Chantal Said  (Jan 17, 2019))

    I think part of the problem is, us north Americans have been led to believe that plastic = food safety. Plastic = freshness. We buy huge quantities of food, and this also contributes to food waste. I've made my own cloth and mesh bags for shopping and try not to buy packaged stuff. We moved from a 1600sq ft home to an 88sq ft camper. We don't have space for heavy packaging and garbage. We buy what we know we can eat in a few days because our fridge is small. We try to find places we can bring our own c...

  • masterpalladin  (Feb 24, 2019))

    average american houses houses for 2-3 bedroom's and 1-2 bathrooms can be 700-900 square ft....built with hemp bricks to reduce heating, geothermal heating, natural gas etc and back up woodstove

  • Marian Crow  (Jan 14, 2019))

    why does something with an expiry date of a month, six months, a year at best, need to be in a plastic container with an expiry date 20K years into the future?

  • David Brewer  (1 day ago))

    So it can spend 6 months in a rat invested container ship travelling from Indonesia to Canada...

  • Marian Crow  (Feb 14, 2019))

    +Katie Samung i have no complaint with tin. it goes back into the ground and after 20 years or so is brittle and flakes if you touch it. in ontario we get milk in plastic bags and they do not recycle anywhere anymore.

  • Alisia Lopez  (Jan 13, 2019))

    This is honestly such a reality check. I never noticed how EVERYTHING is in plastic. As a consumer im going to use reusable produce bags and buy from bulk more. I hope companies will start to change

  • holdupholdup  (Mar 4, 2019))

    So proud of you!

  • R  (Jan 26, 2019))

    We humans become used to the new status quo too quickly, and forget how things were. I wonder if the powers that be actually rely on this facet of our psyche. I suspect they do.