I’m Zero-Wasting My Life! Why Fruit and Veg Should Go Naked

How sustainable is my life #3 – veggie wrapping

Veggies don’t need plastic either.

Here our journey starts. This is what our purple sprouting broccoli and green beans came in, delivered by our local Tesco supermarket. Gasp! More plastic! Something must be done.

I search for signs of recyclability, but there are none. Even if it is recyclable our local council has given up on these items. I need to find out why …

I check the Brighton and Hove web site.  Basically recycling plastic is problematic, unless it comes in the shape of a bottle. In other words, recycling plastic is at best a poor substitute for not using it, at worst impossible. When it comes to plastic, recycling is almost a con.


This is what tomatoes look like:




supermarket tomatoes

And this is what tomatoes look like from a supermarket. Two questions:

  1. Why do I have to buy all those tomatoes when I only need four?
  2. Why wrap tomatoes in plastic when we know the damage non-biodegradable plastic can do?
could this be the profit motive?

The supermarkets say less fruit gets wasted but I suspect it’s really all about  profit. These guys are pretty ingenious!

And why does fruit have to be perfect anyway?

I need a breath of fresh air! Not one that’s shrink-wrapped either. I’m off to the Open Market. Where the veggies roam loose!

And look at those great prices!



Supermarkets that do paper bags

Tesco will deliver your veggies in a paper bag if you ask them to.
Lidl – I’m not sure but I remember they used to supply paper bags for loose veggies. Not sure about Aldi. Marks & Spencer at the fancy end of the food market still mollycoddle their vegetables in plastic, as do Waitrose.
Sainsbury’s are a bit more down-to-earth and I’m sure we could hijack our veggies and put them in our own sane, sensible, sustainable non-plastic bags.

Morrisons are definitely down-to-earth.

By the way, I contacted all of the main supermarket chains but all I got back was corporate-speak. Naturally they are all doing everything they can! There’s a general move towards reducing packaging, but I think their goals could be more ambitious. Why reduce plastic packaging by 50%  when you could be doing 100%?

you can almost hear these veggies breathing

These are our happy veggies. The funny thing is, you pay less to get them in their natural state, and I think they taste better.



  • If we could get everybody who buys at the Supermarket to unwrap their fruit and veg after scanning and then just leave it in the Supermarket, then it MIGHT be a way to let them know that we, the Consumer do not agree with the wrapping!!

  • I was horrified on a recent trip to the UK (I live in France) to see how much fresh produce was packed in plastic. It is less so in France, especially if you go to the local markets. Many supermarkets also now provide paper bags and/or cornstarch bags … although the latter has issues as the corn used to make the bags is likely to be heavily sprayed and GM.
    Popping by from #ZeroWasteHeroes
    PS – I run the monthly linky #GoingGreen and the August one is now open if you wanted to link up!

  • hey it’s lily from japan. i am not a zero-waste person yet but am going to take it more seriously how to live fully on this planet which we cannot BUY! i was over consuming products but reading articles like your really inspires me and make me reconsider how to reduce reuse recycle things for a better place! thanks.

    • Hi Lily. I am so happy my article has helped you, and thank you for your comment. I have been writing about the environment for some years and I do believe writing about it can help raise awareness and make people think about changing their habits. It’s really great you feel inspired.

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