Grocery shopping

The start: High hopes and deceiving boxes

I quit plastic on Wednesday and on the same day I went on my first plastic-free shopping trip to the organic supermarket, as I expected to find a greater selection of eco-friendly packaged goods there. However, I got a bit disappointed when I noticed that there wasn’t any pasta that did not come in a plastic packet (as opposed to the big supermarket chains that have at least one brand of pasta in cardboard packets). It seems that even in organic supermarkets plastic is the most dominant packaging material. I did not see any aisle that did not display an impressive selection of plastic. Canned things can also be found in every shelf, which doesn’t make things easier as I’m ignoring them as well. So far there seems to be absolutely no chance that I get to eat tofu, chips, chocolate or cereals any time soon. On top of that I’m still looking for recycling toilet paper that doesn’t come in a plastic bag…

As disillusioned as I was at the start of my shopping trip, I did get excited about a few other little things – all fruits and vegetables lacked the ever-popular foil wrapped around them, milk and lots of juices were available in glass bottles, mayonnaise, purreed tomato and cream came in glass jars and rice, couscous and soy meat were packed in cardboard boxes. Especially the juice and milk bottles reminded me of my childhood, where it was still kind of normal to get this sort of stuff in bottles (even from the big supermarket chains). So if you want to cut down on plastic, you should check out the organic supermarkets in your neighbourhood. Although they aren’t as anti-plastic as they used to be, you will still find a greater selection of plastic-free products than in the average supermarket around the corner.

What I didn't want to buy...

What I didn’t want to buy…

I walked home feeling happy and full of hope that my 40 days without plastic wouldn’t turn out to be as hard as I thought they would be only to realize that I should have paid more attention to the deceiving cardboard boxes. Although their packaging seemed good enough for my purpose – guess what? – the contents turned out to be wrapped in plastic. So instead of reducing my amount of waste I involuntarily increased it. Damn it, I should have shaken those things more carefully (But believe me, sometimes shaking them doesn’t even help cause they seem to make them sound as though there was no plastic in them)! At least the glass bottles and jars didn’t let me down so far. But who knows what I will find in their lids… To be continued shortly…

Lesson learned: Don’t trust cardboard packaging. It might just trick you into buying more plastic.



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