A typical day may inevitably end up at the grocery store to pick up last-minute items. Browsing the options are vast and when comparison shopping the plastic problem isn’t top of mind! Most people will look at the price or condition of the product.
For Instance, If you have two heads of lettuce which look-alike sitting next to one another. One wrapped in foil the other lettuce wrapped with a rubber band. Would you think twice and pick up the right one? Some would just look at the Lettuce and decide which one looks most delicious and wouldn’t notice its packaging.
I maneuver through the aisles of the grocery store on autopilot while searching for ingredients. However, I’m usually distracted by thoughts of what needs to be done before dinner and work-related annoyances! Chances are if you’re like I was then you might not even think twice either!
So the big question is how do we keep the plastic problem in our thoughts? How can I remember to stop and analyze what to do at the right moment? What will it take to reach for the product with the least packaging? If we question ourselves once a day then we can make an impact! If just 100 people said no when asked if they’d like a plastic bag the world would be better off!
How to avoid a plastic problem
There are ways that we can pressure our local supermarket to provide biodegradable bags in the produce section. Talk to the Store Manager, drop a note in their comment box. If they don’t have one write them a short letter and mail it. Social media is a hot spot for retailers and they’re super sensitive about reviews. Create a google review and ask them why they don’t supply biodegradable bags.
Another way to avoid unnecessary plastic is to avoid picking up the over-packaged produce. Let it rot at the store and eventually, the Manager will realize what’s going on! They’ll either notify the grower or just stop bringing the product in altogether. Retailers are watching our trends, and analyzing our every move. They’re always looking to make money on trends in order to capitalize on our basic desires. They make it their business to know what the customer cares about.
Use your own bags
Even though we’re busy and the last thing we think about is reusable bags. As a conscious shopper, we’ve got to remember them on the way out the door. I found 100% Biodegradable Produce Bags which are nylon, bleach, pesticide, and polyester free. and contain no chemical dyes. Above all, they won’t last 400 years!! Throw a dozen apples, oranges, potatoes in or whatever your heart desires. When large chain supermarkets are not changing their ways we have to take it upon ourselves to start the change. However, we must let the Store know about the inconvenience or else action won’t happen and the Manager won’t think it’s a problem. Squeaky wheels get the grease!
Write a Letter to your MLA
Contact your local MLA. Contact Us: British Columbia MLA Guide
These folks have their seats because of you. Let them hear consumer complaints, they work for us and we are their clients. Pass on consumer sentiment to their office using the link above copy and paste this template into an email and hit send.
Dear (First name) (Last name)
As a proud B.C. resident and your constituent, one of the biggest concerns is the excessive use of non-biodegradable plastic in local grocery stores. Controlling how plastic is disposed of is a problem and the government has taken strides to remedy trash through an extensive recycling program. However, the global issue of plastics has increasingly become an extreme environmental issue and the government has the responsibility to take people’s efforts to the next level. Sorting plastics does not reduce the amount of plastic that is used unnecessarily on a daily basis. If there is one thing the governments can do to make a change it’s by banning single-use plastic in grocery stores. Over packaging and single-use plastics can be found in the following:
- Roles of Plastic bags in the produce section
- Cashier Plastic bags
- Plastic packaging used for fruit and vegetables
- Salad Containers
- Pre-Bagged produce (plastic mesh)
The Government has the ability to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in local grocery stores and it’s time we take a stand against companies that use plastics to bag or cover produce. There are biodegradable options that should be used to implement current packaging practices. Guidelines must be established to limit plastic use and encourage hemp plastic in mainstream packaging. I strongly encourage you to remind Premier John Horgan the BC government has an obligation to be an environmental steward.
I look forward to your response.
(Insert name), (City/Town)
The trick to cleaning up our environment quicker is finding ways of reducing the number of plastics in local stores. I think the government has done a good job to ensure we recycle our products but the hard part is reducing over-packaged items at the grocery store. Plastics are man-made; they do not occur in nature. Soooo if it’s not naturally occurring it really shouldn’t even exist. We’re quickly moving up the creek without a plug or a paddle!
It’s not easy to fix the plastic problem. But, if we ask ourselves one question at the right time it can make the difference. Plastic is a huge part of our lives it can be shaped into any form, it protects, encases, becomes tools, and is an integral part of so many gadgets. Our society has come to depend on them! This rudimentary thought should be labeled “Plastic Psychology.” Seriously I think I’m going to need a shrink to get me through a shopping trip!