Plastics, Grocery Stores and Farmers’ Markets – Argggghhh, don’t get me started…

The trigger for this blog post was a recent CBC Marketplace episode about how Canadian grocery stores can reduce or eliminate plastics by adopting the methods and means of a UK grocery store:

We really MUST begin eliminating single-use disposable plastics from our daily routines. If there is one product of the industrial era (besides fossil fuels themselves) that can be targeted to help clean up Earth, it’s plastic. When I look at my family’s ‘garbage’ bin – the stuff that is not compostable nor recyclable – at least 90% is composed of single-use disposable plastic: bread bags, cereal bags, cheese wrappers, milk bags (yes, I’m in Stone Age Ontario!).

There is no escaping it – or is there.

We have all been bombarded with the problem and are continuously reminded we need to do something. Unfortunately, we as individuals, are somewhat limited in our choices to effect real change without having business and industry on-side as well.

With grocery stores having moved almost entirely to plastic-wrapped everything, we are somewhat handcuffed in our choices. Yes, we could shop at farmers markets, but there are limitations there that don’t really make them the best choice from a carbon footprint perspective.

But our grocery stores could be doing a lot more to combat our love affair with plastics, as proven by an Amsterdam store that is moving towards ‘plastic-free’ shopping:

…and a UK store – the one discussed in the CBC Marketplace piece – that has gone (completely?) plastic-free:

However, it is important to note that all is not rosy in the plastic-free zone, as many bio-degradable plastics are not the green alternative they are touted as being:

The trouble is, we need a paradigm shift; we need to change the ways we do things. Some of that change means trading in decades of convenience created by plastics.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, here are a few ideas to get us started and t show us that at least some jurisdictions and corporations are beginning t take their first few ‘baby steps’ towards tackling the global problem of plastics:

Plastics, Grocery Stores and Farmers’ Markets – Argggghhh, don’t get me started…
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