Grocery shopping is a major contributor to food waste and plastic waste worldwide, so there is a growing movement to embrace low or zero-waste groceries. While it may seem challenging to avoid packaging, it’s easier than it sounds! Here’s how you can shop low-waste.
A major source of plastic waste in grocery stores is plastic bags. While some municipalities have started to ban single use plastic bags, many retailers and grocers still provide them. Regardless of local regulations, it is best to bring your own reusable canvas bag instead of unnecessary plastic.
In some cases, especially with meat packaging, finding plastic-free containers can be difficult. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t seek to minimize plastic consumption. For example, get eggs in cardboard crates or milk in cartons are preferable. Get fresh non-packaged produce, aluminum canned foods, or glass jars are great packaging options to reduce waste.
You don’t always need to rely on big-chain stores – check out your local farmer's market! Not only do they generally have lower waste, but farmer’s markets are local. Supporting your local bakery or butcher are both sustainable options for bread and meat.
Getting groceries via delivery can be a great alternative to driving to the store yourself. Not only do you save on gas, but if you pick the right delivery service, you can get readily available groceries packaged sustainably. There are some excellent delivery services dedicated to providing sustainable groceries and combatting food waste, which we have previously highlighted here.
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