We’re two thirds of the way through Plastic Free July and it feels like every day is a new game of hide and seek with plastic. Although the way to easily find the most hidden plastic is in supermarkets. Especially Sainsbury’s.
It’s so difficult to find anything not wrapped in plastic in Sainsbury’s that after a visit the other day all I came out with were four corn on the cob.
Corn on the cob is a prime example of how plastic fuels convenience, or maybe that the need for convenience fuels plastic, who knows, but someone should do a study on it.
In Sainsbury’s they sell plastic free corn on the cobs still in their husks for 50p each. All you have to do is peel a couple of them and chop them up and you’ve got four corn on the cobs that are 50p cheaper than buying four packaged in plastic.
In another recent trip to Sainsbury’s (I know, why do I keep going?) I bought some pakoras and spring rolls from the deli, naively thinking this would solve the problem of buying these items in the plastic trays they come in when sold the chilled aisle.
Oh no, Sainsbury’s you mischievous plastic-hiding behemoth. When I got home and opened the paper bag, I found about four sheets of plastic that the deli lady had used to put the food in the bag.
I get that they do this to avoid cross contamination, but surely one sheet is enough? Or maybe use tongs for each item instead? I tweeted Sainsbury’s, who didn’t reply. Perhaps because that would mean taking time away from wrapping things in plastic.
In an attempt to rely on supermarkets less, we’ve been buying items in bulk. This has had interesting results (well, interesting if you have two toddlers and your evening entertainment options are limited).
Firstly, buying a 5kg bag of pasta to save on plastic from buying individual bags is a good idea in theory. But in practice, it’s actually led to food waste.
As the bag is so big, it means I have real trouble estimating how much pasta I’m getting out of it (like I said, limited options for evening entertainment over here). Hence a giant portion of pasta that is too many carbs even for me. The result is we put the extra in the fridge and often forget about it. Days later, were debating whether it’s acceptable to test our immune systems out with slightly rancid pasta.
We also bought nuts and dates online in bulk but I have noticed since we bought these that Holland and Barrett sell weigh your own nuts and dried fruit in paper bags.
I’m going to keep experimenting with bulk buying as it’s cheaper and does generally mean less plastic. It just means that half the kitchen is taken up with giant bags of carbs. But I guess that’s no bad thing.