Supermarkets: Unsustainable Secrets

There are SO many misconceptions when it comes to shopping in an eco-friendly way. People often think that being zero waste you must never shop in supermarkets but actually we do, more often than people think! When I go into a supermarket, I'll have two options: either the bakery and delicatessen section or the fruit and veg aisles. Since I've been zero waste, I've actually gained hours back in my life from spending less time in the supermarket and simplifying my weekly shop. 

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However, this doesn't mean I never get 'hangry'. I'm at the train station, short on time and I've left my bags and boxes at home, so buying foods waste-free gets tricky.

Usually, we don't name and shame companies on here – thats not what we're here for – however, M&S, I'm going to have to shame you.

M&S was once one of my favourite supermarkets. Their chocolate raisins and Percy Pigs used to keep my world turning, but since going zero waste, M&S has deemed itself irreversibly impractical.

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All of their fruit is in packaging which can't be recycled. 

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Most of their products have this silly symbol which just means that the factory where the product came from recycles – yet you can't recycle this packaging yourself. 

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M&S also sell all of their bread in unrecyclable plastic. Can supermarkets agree just to stop this? 

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But, its not all doom and gloom. Like I said, I still shop at some of the major supermarkets.

Here are my handy tips and tricks I've learnt through shopping at supermarkets in a zero waste way:

  • Look for products that are in recycled packaging like glass or tin

  • Keep away from plastic as much as you can

  • In most supermarkets, aim for the bakery aisle as that's usually full of exciting, package-free goods

  • Fruit is a good and healthy snack which normally is package-free too (yay!)

  • Basically, don't shop at M&S (sorry M&S but things need to change, including you)

Unlike a lot of people in London, I don't live a Vegan lifestyle. I do however eat less meat than I used to for environmental reasons, while all of my meat is from sustainable sources. I grew up on a farm, so buying local is really important to me.

Opting for a zero waste lifestyle back in January meant I was really struggling to buy meat, mostly due to the unnecessary plastic packaging. If you haven't twigged already, plastic isn't my favourite material...

I didn't eat meat for ages, until...

One day I was at a big supermarket – those who live in London will know these are difficult to find – and I had my clean lunch box with me. I was looking at some lovely British sausages on the butcher's counter and was asked if I wanted anything. Immediately I was going to say 'nope' but then I remembered my clean container...

And bam! As easy as that, meat was re-introduced into my diet with no plastic at all! It just goes to show that planning can be the difference, so with a little bit of thinking ahead, almost anything can be waste free!