The latest Vegan Life Magazine, which came out just after Christmas, is another brilliant issue of the UK’s first mainstream vegan publication! As usual, it addresses a multitude of issues (including the oh-so-controversial honey debate), as well as providing product reviews and news and recipes.
The article I want to showcase this time around is one that is particularly close to my heart – waste. The article, entitled Plastic Fantastic, addresses the incredible amount of plastic we use and how very little of it is actually reused. The vast majority of it ends up in a landfill, where it fails to break down in any sort of appropriate time scale and pollutes the land for decades, potentially centuries. While this is nothing new to me or most readers, it has brought an issue to the forefront of my mind that I think about a lot, and that many fellow bloggers, including A Thrifty Mrs, have addressed in the past:
In the UK, it is next to impossible to live a waste-free, or even low-waste, lifestyle. Unless you are able to shop at farmers markets and a have a store using bulk bins near you, you have to rely on supermarkets to purchase your goods. And they always, ALWAYS come with unnecessary packaging. For instance, I buy about two bags of kale and spinach a week. That’s four plastic bags that are completely superfluous, that can’t even be recycled, and that could easily be avoided by selling the greens either loose or packaged in a more eco-friendly way. While I understand that it is not always practical to sell unpackaged items in busy shops with fast turnovers, I know for a fact that there are many environmentally friendly packaging options that these retailers could replace their stupid plastic bags with.
To me, concepts like Original Unverpackt, which sells only unpackaged products, are something all retailers need to aim towards. It would be fantastic if we could take our own storage containers to the shops, fill them with the amount of a product that we need, and pay by weight. Not only would it reduce packaging waste, but it would also help to reduce food waste. How often have you bought a packet of something that was far larger than you needed, just because it was the only size available? Until the idea of naked groceries becomes more widespread, however, I will continue to complain about excess packaging until somebody listens…
How much packaging waste does your weekly shop produce? If you take any creative measures to reduce the amount of waste you create, please share them in the comments! I would love to know!
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Vegan Life Magazine blogging community and receive the digital edition of the publication free of charge. I buy the paper edition with my own money, because I love it that much. I would never, ever falsify my review of something because I received something for free.