38 Degrees, an online social movement, estimates that nearly 2 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by UK households on a weekly basis. Of that nearly 300 million pieces of this waste come from fruit and veg packaging, primarily from supermarkets.
Selling some items in plastic packaging not only contributes to our use of plastic, but it’s also more expensive and creates food waste as we often end up buying more than we need. Just five items – potatoes, apples, bananas, carrots and onions – are by far the biggest source of food waste. They are sold in both plastic packaging and loose.
38 Degrees has teamed up with Everyday Plastic and City to Sea, two organisations working to tackle the plastic crisis. They are asking all UK supermarkets to commit to selling these five items loose and only loose. This small change could substantially reduce plastic and food waste, as well as collectively saving shoppers over £85 million per year.
This action follows the publication of ground-breaking new research by Wrap (details below) into the factors affecting how much uncut fresh-produce goes to waste in the home.
Last week Rosie Sanderson from Plastic Free Communities addressed the town council’s climate change and biodiversity sub-committee on making Settle a plastic free town by reducing our use of single use plastics. In January Rosie spoke to a meeting of the ACE steering group and said that in order to become a plastic free community the first step would be to set up a steering group, which ACE agreed to support.
You can read the Wrap report at: https://wrap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-02/WRAP-Reducing-household-food-waste-and-plastic-packaging-Full-report.pdf