You might often wonder why there is more pre-packed plastic wrapped produce than loose fruit and veg on supermarket shelves?
You might also wonder why the prepacked produce is nearly always cheaper, and sometimes up to 54% cheaper than the loose?
How is this even possible and is it considered reasonable?
Why does it happen?
The supermarket model is based on pick and go, quick well defined purchases, loose veg does not fit in with this model. It is easier to quantify sales, it is easier to count predefined units, easier to increase sales, less cost of waste to the supermarket with plastic wrapped units. It means produce can sit on shelves for longer, it is much harder to manage loose fresh produce. So the answer: wrap everything in plastic.
It is to SUIT the supermarket model of business.
Why cheaper? Nearly every supermarket "loss leads" on fresh fruit and veg and they do it on plastic wrapped products, they discount to entice customers into the shop, they force price cuts on farmers, and that is a whole other discussion.
Britian's UK supermarkets are responsible for nearly 1 million tonnes of the 1.5 million tonnes of household plastic produced in the UK each year.
300 million tonnes of plastic are produced EVERY YEAR, that is more than the combined weight of every person on the plant!
There is no doubt that the increasing use of plastic is heading in one direction and soon if we don't do something about it we will drown in our own non biodegradable waste.
As is usual, it will be us humans who suffer the implications from our actions last. The planet and all the creatures that we share this planet with are the first to suffer as a result of our actions.
But we have power, and actions as always speak louder than words. There is a massive backlash against single use plastic, and it is forcing retailers and producers to sit up and take note.
Retailers know consumer feeling is heading in one direction and action needs to be taken to reduce and eliminate plastic from the supply chain in order for them to survive.
The retailers are worried, if I was CEO of Coca cola I would be seriously concerned about where this is all going. Coca Cola produce about 110 billion single use plastic bottles every year and this is increasingly rapidly according to Greenpeace. They are taking action, they are implementing recycling schemes. They say they will use the power of their brands to inform consumers of the need to recycle.
All very admirable stuff, but, at the same time they are increasing their production of single use bottles. Primary production of plastic is at the root of the problem. Advising on recycling will not solve the problem it pushes the solution onto consumers.
We have eliminated much of the plastic from our home delivery service, and we are working on introducing a biodegradable plastic bag for those items that simply need to be protected from drying out such as salad.
Behind the scenes we have trialed biodegradable pallet wrap (you would never know and never see this) and it works very well, we will be switching over to this as soon as we can get a reliable source.
Of course our boxes
are recycled cardboard and as you know we collect and reuse nearly everything we deliver in.
As always thank you for joining us on this journey