How to reduce your plastic consumption by eating better

How to reduce your plastic consumption by eating better

Feb 14, 2024Jonathan Englert

Plastic is everywhere. It is used to package, store, and transport food items. And then it’s used to wrap processed food. We use it for everything, and while plastic may be both convenient and a cheap way to transport, store, and keep food hygienic, it also has a huge environmental and health impact. 

You know that plastic does not biodegrade, but did you know that it keeps breaking down to the point where it’s not visible (microplastics), and that those can then wind up in the oceans and be consumed by fish, or in birds via their feed? 

And did you know that once that happens it can very easily wind up in our systems when we eat those things? The University of Newcastle found that the average person consumes around 5 grams of plastic every week. That’s like sitting down to a credit card for dinner. 

We have a pressing need to all do our own part to reduce plastic consumption, for both the health of the planet and ourselves. Fortunately, as convenient as it is, there are many ways to reduce how much plastic you consume through your weekly shopping.

Here are just some ideas to get you started:

1. Use reusable containers. 

When you do need to go to the supermarket or move produce around, rather than use single-use plastic bags, why not invest in reusable containers instead? You can even invest in materials that don’t use plastic – such as metal containers – if the jump from single-use plastic to reusable isn’t enough for you. But even if you are using reusable plastic, that’s going to be a far lower impact on the environment in the long term, as you use the same container over months and even years. 

2. Choose fresh, local food. 

Here’s another reason to get your produce from Good & Fugly: When you’re at the supermarket you might be tempted by processed food, and not only is that less ideal for your heath, but the packaging typically includes plastics. By choosing fresh, local food, you can also support your health and the environment. 

3. Make your own food and drinks. 

If it’s a hot day, a bottle of cola or lemonade can be incredibly tempting. But then you end up with a plastic bottle that will just end up in landfill. The same goes for when you’re feeling in the mood for a snack and reach for the chocolates or candy… what are those wrapped in again?

So, instead of buying ready-made food and drinks, why not make your own? You can prepare your own meals, snacks, sauces, and condiments at home, using fresh and natural ingredients, and then keep them stored in bags and containers that are not made of plastic (or are at least a reusable kind).  You’ll be amazed at the sheer variety available to you. Iced tea or water steep some fruit peels in water, and it’s every bit as refreshing as soft drink. Making your own sweets, cakes and cookies allows you to make exactly the recipe you and your family love. 

Sure, it takes a little more forethought, but it’s worth the effort, and the planet will thank you for it.

4. Recycle those plastics that you do use

Finally, we cannot overlook the importance of recycling. Despite your best efforts, you will almost certainly still end up with some plastic waste. Even the “zero waste” family still managed to fill one recycle bin every two weeks.

Try to recycle as much as possible. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills or oceans, and saves energy and resources. Just make sure that when you do recycle, you do it right. Shockingly, 30 per cent of recycling is contaminated, often because people are completely unaware of what can and cannot be recycled.

5. Order Good & Fugly! 

Yes, your Good & Fugly box can help fight plastic waste! Good & Fugly has a largely plastics-free supply chain. We buy the produce from farmers, drop it in boxes (which are biodegradable), and then deliver it to your door. There’s no storing produce in plastic bags or containers to ship about the place, and no supermarket shelves to display it on. From end to end there simply isn’t a need for us to get plastics involved and that means you consume less plastic yourself.

Small simple steps can go a long way to making a difference. You can reduce your plastic consumption with food, and make a positive difference for yourself and the planet. 

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