With some of the biggest chain supermarkets trialling plastic free fruit and veg departments, hopefully they are getting the #plasticfree message, but in the meantime we could also be using one of the other options below:
1) Find a local greengrocer or farm shop and look for plastic free options
PROS You can ask staff in the shop where the produce comes from. You can let staff know that you would like more plastic free options. You can check the quality of the produce before you buy it.
CONS Be prepared for less choice depending on the size of the store. This is unlikely to be the cheapest way to buy fruit and vegetables. Visiting the shop may take extra time and, if you need to drive, extra carbon emissions for the journey.
2) Find a local fruit and veg box scheme
PROS You will get a regular supply of seasonal produce. Lots of veg box schemes are organic.
CONS The produce may not be completely plastic free. Veg and fruit boxes can be expensive.
3) Choose only plastic free options from the supermarket
PROS No need for an extra journey to another shop/veg box collection point. You can check the quality of the produce before you buy it (if you go into the store rather than shop online).
CONS Options will be more limited. You might not know whether it's going to come in packaging if shopping online.
4) Grow your own
PROS Healthier. More satisfying (if it goes to plan!). Possibly cheaper (depending on the cost of setting up your planting area and buying in compost and equipment).
CONS This option requires a big time commitment. This option is only available to those who have outside space. Results are not guaranteed. You are unlikely to be able to provide a year-round supply.
5) Find a local farmers market where produce is plastic free
PROS Produce is likely to be high quality. Produce is likely to be local. You can check the quality of the produce before you buy it.
CONS This is unlikely to be the cheapest way to buy fruit and vegetables. Visiting the farmers market takes extra time and, if you need to drive, extra carbon emissions for the journey.
PROS Produce is free Produce is local and seasonal
CONS The process is time consuming (but can be combined with leisure time) You are unlikely to find enough to become self-sufficient Good plant identification skills are required to ensure produce is safe to eat
For us, the farmer's market option is out as there isn't one in the village we live in. This means it would be time-consuming to get to one and it would mean an extra journey in the car. When I first started out on my plastic free journey we signed up for a veg box but I was disappointed to see that it was not 100% plastic free (punnets of grapes, strawberries, bagged salad etc.) so I stopped it. Luckily we have a local farm shop and our nearest town market does deliver so we use a combination of this and trying to grow our own where possible. We also always try to store the items in and use our cotton, reusable produce bags. We bought ours here www.boobalou.co.uk Use code JULY for 10% off this month.