What If I Refuse Plastic Bags For My Fruit And Veg? 

No one’s noticed a million rolls of plastic bags in our supermarkets? And why I like Lidl

Everyone knows about plastic straws, everyone knows about plastic bags, but no one seems to have noticed about a million large rolls of plastic bags the supermarkets want us to wrap our loose fruit and veggies in.

I don’t need to take this, I say to myself. I purchase 100 paper bags from the Paper Bag Company – how hard was that? My last supermarket trip crossed the line. Why don’t they supply paper bags in these days of real concern?

my socially responsible, angelic-looking fruit

I post the great news about my paper bags on Facebook. (some Facebook groups supporting reduced waste: Green Living Alternatives  Plastic is Rubbish The Non-consumer advocate  )

Feeling pretty proud and self-righteous. Then someone comes in with “you don’t even need that. Why not make your own bag?”  That’s Facebook for you!

People are using fabric bags, cotton tote bags, mesh bags, hemp bags, no bags … and as a Facebook friend points out, why not reuse the paper bags while you’re at it? I haven’t even got my paper bags to the supermarket yet.

The biggest problem some people have is remembering to take their bags in the first place. Sounds familiar.

the price I pay for trying to be good

Some people don’t even bother with a bag – they just throw their fruit & veggies into their shopping trolley. I’d assumed the bags were mandatory. Where was I when the rules  changed? I remind myself this is the price I pay for always having been a “good boy” (ie mug).

All the big supermarkets are involved in reducing carrier bags (basically costs them nothing) but what about fruit and veg? I fire off a few Twitter messages to find out. And … they all have great plans for a waste-reduced future, some years hence.  And the only one that really addressed my question was Lidl.

biodegradable – something I’ve never seen in a big supermarket

Well done Lidl! Lidl sell plenty of their fruit and vegetables loose and encourage customers to use their own bags.

I like Lidl. Not just because of their brands with exotic-sounding names, but because their stores are so comfortably scruffy. They look like glorified warehouses with a bargain bin right in the middle. It’s a bloke’s dream.

My life has changed. I now know I can take my fruit and veggies home from supermarkets plastic-free. Assuming they haven’t already wrapped it in a ton of plastic on its way to the store. Anyway, it’s a start.


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