[Planet Organic are offering 15% off their entire range throughout May. All you have to do is click here and use the code GREEN15]
One of the number one questions I get asked about is how to shop without acquiring plastic.
So many followers of this site are doing brilliant things to reduce their landfill waste. They’re making full use of kerbside recycling collections, shopping in charity shops for clothes, repurposing items around the home and even upcycling furniture, but when they look in their bins, they’re seeing a whole load of plastic. Film and flexible packaging used for single use items amounts to around 400,000 tonnes of plastic used in the UK per year. However, just 4% is currently recycled.
It’s disheartening isn’t it?
When I first began my own zero waste journey, it was tough. It felt like a 24/7 job to keep on top of things. I had to learn what the different recycling labels meant, where things could be recycled (we only had tins, glass and newspaper recycling) and had to be careful of what I bought because I knew that eventually the product or packaging would have to be disposed of. I was shocked to hear from Annie Leonard (author of the Story of Stuff), that just ONE percent of what we buy is still in use six months later. The rest of it has been consumed or trashed.
Shopping was a huge nightmare back then. I’d find that one shop might be brilliant for loose fruit and veg, but they wouldn’t sell other things I needed. My local butcher could sell me meat in my own container, but didn’t stock the rest of my weekly shop. I had to visit a baker to get bread and a deli for coleslaw, cheese and humous. My veg box was hit and miss and there would be gaps in my shopping.
I’m aware all this makes me sound a bit entitled and I know it’s really a first world problem and probably one that reflects the life my grandmother had, but she didn’t also have to run a business or live in the ‘always on’ culture that we do nowadays…
There have been numerous campaigns over the years to reduce single-use plastics and progress is being made all the time. Some supermarkets have trialled plastic free aisles and Zero Waste shops – where you can take your own containers and buy refills – are popping up almost overnight.
But let’s be honest; we all lean towards convenience, or at least I do.
That’s why I was thrilled to find out that Planet Organic – a supermarket dedicated to natural, healthy and planet-friendly products – are addressing this. Planet Organic have not issued plastic bags for over 12 years and have a zero food waste policy, yet they understand that, like it or not, single use plastics are massively convenient.
They’ve been on a mission to come up with a viable alternative and now have an impressive range of items which are sold in plastic free / home compostable packaging. I’ll confess I do get a bit concerned over ‘home compostable’ and worry about greenwashing. But Planet Organic tell us their home compostable range is made from FSC certified sustainable eucalyptus chippings and GM-free corn, stuck together with home compostable glue. They reckon these bags will break down in one to two years – which is quicker than the egg shells and avocado pits on my compost heap! – and that they don’t need industrial conditions.
From their site “The bags we use have been certified by the TUV as OK Home Compostable and even though we hope they don’t end up here, they are certified as marine compostable too. When these bags break down, they will leave no toxic residue, unlike biodegradable or plastic packaging. ”
To celebrate their ‘Let’s Make Greener Choices Together’ campaign, throughout May, Planet Organic are offering 15% off their entire range. All you have to do is click here and use the code GREEN15