Plastic free food


Is it even possible to buy food without plastic wrapping? Today I have embarked on a massive online ordering session to buy food for my family of five for the next month (living in a small village and having limited access to our car means relying a lot on home deliveries).

Having spent the last two hours researching, clicking and shopping I have deduced that:

1) going plastic free makes some choices easier (ie you don’t buy stuff). I discovered this last month when I limited my wardrobe for Slow Fashion Month and, in many ways, it was liberating

2) but I keep bending the rules. The one thing I have noticed from reading the blogs of other Plastic Free participants is that you have to adjust the rules to suit your individual (or family’s) needs. Like others I have decided that it is only me who is going Plastic Free. Where I can reduce the consumption of single use plastic by the rest of my family then I will. So I have bought a few plastic wrapped things for the family that I will try my best not to use (eg cheese)

3) I’ve been using up lots of plastic stuff that I had unintentionally stockpiled last month. This has saved me from having to buy it this month. Sort of a cheat I know but it’s making me use stuff up

4) from my recent shopping trips I have been pleasantly surprised by some things (eg paper bags in greengrocers). Even the online Asda shop today yielded a few nice surprises (eg cherry cordial in a glass bottle, vanilla ice cream sold in a cardboard block) and the extra packaging information was helpful.

This is only Week Two But already I’ve found Plastic Free July to be such a steep learning curve. I ordered a small meat box from Riverford Organics (to accompany my veg and fruit boxes) and was very disappointed to see how much plastic packaging it came in. Riverford has some interesting things to say on plastic and paper here but I was still gutted to see as much  packaging as a usual supermarket shop.


Very disappointed by the plastic in the meat box.


But the veg box was plastic free…


…well almost


But I could also kick myself for not checking the packaging before I bought – one of the key lessons we are all learning from this challenge is research and preparation before buying anything.


6 thoughts on “Plastic free food

  1. That trolley picture makes me laugh! Sounds like you’re doing great – you’re right it is a steep learning curve but it gets easier and easier and then you have all these habits you just do without thinking! Disappointing about the Riverford meat – do you have a butcher local to you? Might be worth investigating. Riverford used to use cardboard punnets – I wonder why they switched to plastic?

    Barilla pasta also comes in cardboard, if you local supermarket stocks it?

    Glad you also had some nice surprises in your shopping! : )

    • Thanks for the suggestions. Next on my list is to investigate the local butchers. There’s definitely something to be said about altering shopping behaviour bit by bit so that, as you say, you end up doing things without thinking

      • Good luck then! I think it’s great being able to support local businesses, especially supporting skills like butchering etc. My mum’s butcher (in Kent) loved it when she took her own containers in. She was a bit nervous about it all and said she wouldn’t expect him to use them when he was busy. He said – no way! I want all my customers to bring their own containers! I spend £8000 a year on packaging, so it suits me fine! Hopefully you have similar luck : )

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