Our grocery stores have a plastic problem. The average American family will take home 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. Food packaging alone is a huge source of plastic waste in the U.S., and in most stores around the country, plastic is so ubiquitous it’s almost too easy to overlook it. How many times have you seen something wrapped in plastic that arguably doesn’t need to be, like apples or avocados? Do we really need a glimpse into the pasta box via a tiny plastic window? (Thankfully, pasta behemoth Barilla has started rolling out windowless packaging). What’s more, even if plastic food packaging is recyclable, it usually ends up in landfill: less than 14 percent of the plastic produced globally each year is recycled.
Luckily, every problem has a solution, including this one. There’s a way to shop for groceries that are good for both people and planet, and that’s by taking on a zero-waste approach.
Tackling Plastic Pollution With Zero-Waste Shopping
I’ve talked about going zero-waste before: it’s a practice that places emphasis on actively reducing the amount of waste we produce. Whatever we can’t use or consume ultimately ends up going to the landfill, including packaging from what we bring home from the grocery store. Prepackaged snacks, plastic bags for carting fresh produce, meats and cheese wrapped in plastic all contribute to the world’s pollution problem.
Bringing a zero-waste approach to shopping, however, is possible, and it’s a great first step toward alleviating the plastic problem in our grocery stores. There are a couple of ways to do it!
Do It Yourself
The first is bringing your own zero-waste containers to the store.
Instead of putting fresh produce into those thin green plastic bags at the supermarket, opt for reusable bags. You can use any cloth bag you have lying around your house, an adorable French market bag, or even these cool reusable beeswax bags, which will preserve your produce in the fridge. Loose items, such as coffee beans, nuts and dried fruit can be dispensed into your own glass jars.
Sit Back And Order In
The second is letting zero-waste groceries come to you. Who doesn’t love kicking back while your food is delivered right to your doorstep? We certainly do, and that’s why we’ve partnered with Zero Grocery, an easy service that delivers zero-waste groceries to your home.
Zero Grocery offers a ton of fresh produce, meat, dairy, international cuisine, drinks, pantry and home goods, like soaps and detergents. Once you’ve emptied the jars your products arrive in, all you have to do is place them empty by your doorstep. Zero Grocery swings by to pick them up and reuse them.
For now, Zero Grocery delivers to San Francisco residents only, but they’ll be arriving in Los Angeles and New York City soon. And the best part: first-time customers can get a discount on their Zero Grocery membership with our promo code: GAWDHESS10.
Planet: 1, plastic: 0.