Mother Nature was a good designer. Good, but according to grocery stores, imperfect. Broccoli should have had a skin and peppers, though often braving the bulk, are safest in threes like their manmade inspiration, the streetlight. As of this week, my city's recycling program won't be accepting plastic bags or stretchy film since there's no longer a market to which they can sell it, but grocery stores don't seem to be flinching.
I made the switch to reusable produce bags this past Christmas and before then had been reusing a few plastic ones kicking around my pantry so I acknowledge I'm new to skipping plastic, but seeing shrink-wrapped broccoli today was like Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees incarnate.
Bags of fruit are problematic. These kiwis, for example, offer a bargain compared to paying eighty cents for one and the bag is quicker to grab, but the bag is instant garbage. Further, buying in bulk to "save money" isn't accessible to people who don't have the funds for the larger up-front purchase. The more money you have, the better deal you get? Seems fair. 😧
And yes, avoiding Wal-Mart shrinks the wrap you'll see but not everyone has the budget for the less-plasticised grocers.
The conversation needs to shift from why plastic isn't being recycled to why we are using it in the first place. Dragon fruit has its own peel, it doesn't need a prosthetic.
I bought a clamshell of cherry tomatoes because that's all my daughter eats and the container is recyclable but ugh, it still had to be made and I so wish there was another option before Farmer's Market/backyard garden season. Honest question for readers in Saskatoon: is there? Also, what happened to cardboard berry containers?
Maybe I'm just some weirdo taking pictures in the produce section but to me, it feels like there's something wrong here. If you're in the same boat, the only way to change it is to buy less of the wrapped stuff and to talk about the issue so more people do the same.
If (when?) winter ever ends, I'll be planting a garden.