Whoever I.R. in Bollington, UK is, I salute you. I'm also fairly disgraced by the fact that I didn't think about starting a petition about this very subject; the unnecessary plastic packaging that supermarkets feel the need to wrap around their fruit and vegetables. However, I.R. did, so most importantly, before I go in to my own personal rant about the subject, please do SIGN THIS PETITION if this gets under your skin too.
So on to the rant. Yes, we should all grow our own. Yes, we should be buying from farmers markets, local produce stalls, the bloke (or lady bloke) down the road that grows their own, or order veg boxes. However, realistically we all pop in to the odd Sinsburys, Assda or Tosscos every now and then. I purposefully try and avoid anything packaged in plastic but infuriatingly most of the organic produce, which I also prefer to choose, is more packaged it seems than the rest of the stuff. Why should I have to choose between the environmental impact of plastic and the more healthful impact of organic produce? It winds me up; which can't be good for my health. Quite often I take so much offence at the amount of packaging on the organic produce that I end up choosing the non-organic.
Regardless of the organic/non-organic packaging dilemma, why the hell does any of it need packaging up so much anyway? It's actually obscene. As I.R. pointed out, what is wrong with cardboard packaging if it really cannot bear to be sold without some form of excess packaging support? Or what is wrong with a simple paper bag? Personally we use Onya Produce Bags for produce that really needs keeping together, but quite often we just bung it in the basket as if we were foraging in the forest (we can kid ourselves right?).
There have also been various campaigns to encourage customers to leave excess packaging at the supermarkets. Doing a search will reveal a few examples, including the Women's Institute. However, we quite like this one from The Book of Rubbish Ideas. Much like the idea back in the 80's of emptying bags of McDonald's rubbish back on their own premises (preferably on the food serving counters), this might have quite an impact (obviously our issue wasn't just about packaging). It was pretty good fun too as really it was just returning their own property in a mischievous manner; but I digress. Of course, none of this would be necessary if the packaging wasn't there in the first place.
Anyway, rant over. Sign, sign, sign is what we say and let's get behind this petition big time. Campaigning worked for getting rid of the single use carrier bag right? Meanwhile, if you are in the area and fancy some rocket or fresh herbs (bit early for everything else), we have a profusion in our garden but be warned, there will be trouble if you turn up with a plastic bag! If your hands aren't good enough, get some Onya bags!