Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Leave the plastic behind

Consumer magazine recently published an article about plastic packaging. They investigated three supermarket chains - Countdown, Pak'n'save and New World - to see how much packaging consisted of recyclable material, and how much they were using that had already been partially recycled. As I mentioned in a previous article (here), Flight plastics in Wellington is the only company in New Zealand taking in PET and producing RPET (recycled PET plastics). The supermarkets themselves say they are trying to reduce plastic, but they don't seem to be really doing much, frankly.

But I think a better use is to REFUSE to take the plastic in the first place, so I popped a comment in saying just that. I related that I have started simply leaving the plastic from what I have bought behind at the checkout. I take in my reusable mesh bags, tip the tomatoes - or whatever - into my mesh bag, then after the containers have been scanned, I leave the containers behind at the checkout. I take the plastic off my cucumbers and leave that behind too. It not only sends a clear message, it pushes the problem and cost of disposal onto the retailer. 

If enough of us do that, retailers will start asking suppliers or distributors to supply loose veg to avoid what is becoming a problem for themselves. Push the problem back up the chain, and that will, I suspect, effect a change. 

Well, that's what I am hoping, anyway.

Sam

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