Packaging vs. product

What would you base your decision on?

A typical situation in my life: I’m going shopping and I need, let’s say, pasta. I used to buy organic brown pasta. When I decided to say goodbye to plastic, this suddenly wasn’t an option anymore and I had to go for a non-organic pasta brand (Barilla pasta and some other brands come in cardboard boxes for example). Guess why.

It makes absolutely no sense, but most organic products come in plastic. This is a problem I’ve been dealing with since I started my challenge. I decided it was about time to write about it. When it comes to fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, the situation is particularly bad. In order to be able to distinguish the organic from the non-organic products most supermarket chains in Germany decided to wrap all the organic fruits and vegetables in plastic. I watched a documentary about this recently and a manager from a big chain explained that they were only wrapping the organic veggies rather than the other vegetables because it would be more eco-friendly than doing it the other way round.

What to buy?

What to buy?

Sounds confusing? It is! Fortunately the fruit and veggie problem is relatively easy to solve – I just buy organic fruit on markets and in organic-only supermarkets instead. But there are some other products like the above-mentioned organic pasta (pasta is only one example, the list is pretty much endless.) that forced me to ask myself: Am I gonna go for the better product OR the better packaging?

Where can I draw the line? Is non-organic pasta in more eco-friendly packaging better than organic pasta in plastic? Am I doing more damage by focussing too much on packaging? Why can’t the label “organic” and “fair-trade” include packaging? And why are so many organic supermarkets full of plastic?

Has anyone experienced the same? Let me know your thoughts on this!

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. I think it’s great what you’re doing! I wasn’t aware that they wrap organic fruits and veggies in plastic instead of the other ones! I guess it makes sense, though, since there are a lot of the other fruits and veggies. But why wrap anything in plastic in the first place?!
    To be honest, I’m not paying that much attention on the packaging. But I think I should and I think this will be a good new years resolution πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the inspiraton.
    Can I ask you how you wrap things in the fridge so they don’t dry out? And do you buy plastic free things where you have the choice or do you not buy anything wrapped in plastic, at all? For example, tofu always comes in plastic, doesn’t it?
    I hope these questions aren’t too annoying. I feel silly asking them, like asking a vegan “what about eggs? what about honey?” πŸ˜‰
    x Avilia

    1. Hi Avilia,
      first of all: thank you for the compliment! And your questions aren’t silly at all, I’m happy you’re interested in it!
      I don’t wrap things in the fridge very often. Most of the time I just put them in a container (for example big glass jars) where they stay fresh. As I got left with a lot of plastic bags when I started my challenge, I also keep re-using them for wrapping (The same goes for empty plastic packaging). I know it’s kind of cheating, but it would be worse for me to throw all my plastic items out for nothing. Sometimes I also use a tea-towel and put a bit of string around and it works just as fine (This works for fruit and veg, but also for bread, covering bowls and plates etc. Of course it doesn’t work with sticky things). A lot of things can also be wrapped in newspapers, that’s a really old-fashioned way of wrapping πŸ™‚ So there is basically a variety of wrapping methods (Hm, maybe I should write a post about that…).
      Tofu is and was in fact one of the biggest problems (the same goes for plant-based milk like almond milk, if you don’t want to or have the time to make it yourself all the time) and sometimes I do actually think that following a plant-based diet makes things a little harder, too. During my hardcore “plastic fasting” time I bought fermented tofu in a glass jar from an Asian grocer, but I didn’t like it (it’s sort of rotten, really yuck…) and I also hated the fact that it wasn’t organic. So I basically cut tofu, normally being one of my main sources of protein, from my diet. After my 6-week experiment I decided to make a concession and buy my tofu (this time organic though) in plastic (the same goes for toilet paper, soy yoghurt etc.) again. Just as you said, I try to go for the plastic-free choice whenever there is one (which is possible in about 90 percent of all cases), but there isn’t always one 😦 That’s why I try to upcycle as much as possible and whenever I get left with plastic packaging I try to turn it into something useful.
      I hope my reply wasn’t too long and I hope I could help you – thank you by the way for the inspiration, I think I will write a post about different wrapping methods soon πŸ™‚ Eva x

      1. Thank you so much for your long reply πŸ™‚ I will try out your methods. I just bought a pack of little plastic containers to put in things, so I don’t have to use plastic wrap, anymore. It’s still plastic, but at least reusable :/ And I always clean out the soy yoghurt containers and reuse them. So I’m kind of trying to reduce my plastic and rubbish in general, but I could definitely do a lot better!
        I think your way of trying as much as possible without restraining yourself is great.
        I’m looking forward to your post πŸ™‚ I really like your blog, it helps a lot! Because most of us (at least for me this is the case) want to reduce plastic, but are too lazy to think of ways, so it’s always really helpful to have kind of a role model that gives advice and motivation to do so πŸ™‚ Avilia x

Leave a comment - Verfasse einen Kommentar!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s