Another blow to plastic bags

October 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM 2 comments

Produce Bags with FruitI recently heard that at the end of November, Metro grocery stores will offer their customers reuseable mesh bags for their produce (four for $5) as an alternative to conventional thin-film produce bags. Metro has 484 stores across Ontario and Quebec, so there’s potential for a lot of plastic savings. The bags are reusable, washable and stain resistant, not unlike these Canadian-made bags I blogged about earlier.

Thin-film plastic is considered the worst offender among plastic bag material, since, among other reasons, it isn’t durable enough for multiple use.

I hope grocery chains will take additional steps, such as offering starch-based biodegradable bags, so they break down safely in soil, and allocate fewer rolls of bags around the stores to discourage people from using them for everything. After all, veggies should be washed before you use them anyway. (I use a tiny smidge of dish soap.)

Metro revealed results of a customer survey showing that 77 per cent are making efforts to limit their use of plastic bags when buying fruits and vegetables, while 76 per cent said they would be interested in buying reusable produce bags. According to the same survey, 87 per cent of customers prefer to buy individual fruits and vegetables instead of pre-packaged ones. I certainly think we could do without the plastic bags on celery, bell peppers heads of lettuce and more, and I really dislike buying packs of mushrooms, since they’re in a type of plastic that many municipalities don’t recycle, topped by cellophane.

I don’t blame food producers for wanted to add something to their products. Homemakers‘ nutritionist, Rosie Schwartz has mentioned that one the reasons we have a hard time eating healthily is that packaged foods have lots of enticing images and marketing copy on them, while the healthiest food – produce – does not.

How would you reduce shopping-related waste?

Entry filed under: Eco-friendly food, Green living products, Reduce. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jessica - ecocessories  |  November 9, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    This is great news. It is about time they found an alternative to those flimsy plastic bags!

  • 2. susan  |  November 21, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    I think that its great that a National Grocery Chain is offering an alternative for those awful plastic produce bags. I stopped using them last year when I purchased some cotton mesh reusable produce bags. My bags are made in Canada, by a company called Credobags from Montreal. I’m guessing that the bags Metro is going to have in their stores is going to be imported and made from a synthetic fabric. Its still a step in the right direction.


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