Food Packaging – How to Reduce Waste
Food packaging contributes significantly to the domestic waste we produce. This domestic waste includes all types of plastic, foam, glass containers, and cardboard boxes.
Several stores still use plastic bags to package their food items when there are eco-friendly alternatives like the use of paper bags or coming with your own recyclable shopping bag. To reduce how food packaging contributes to filling up dumpsites, we need to adopt sustainable practices when it comes to food packaging.
These tips below are useful to reduce the waste associated with food packaging:
- Buy loose foods: Most times, we end up buying prepackaged foods like grains and other consumables because we fancy the plastic packaging they come in. But almost immediately after buying food in plastic packaging, we dump the plastic in our waste bins. Buying loose food like fruit and vegetables is economical, and these food items are biodegradable.
- Buy items in recyclable containers: Plastics are made from petroleum. These products can take hundreds of years to decompose and are most times, not recyclable. Recyclable materials include glass and biodegradable based materials, which are environmentally friendly even if discarded without being recycled. Choose this method of packaging.
- Carry your shopping basket: It is sustainable and economical to take your shopping bag next time you go shopping, especially bulk shopping. This way, you can reuse the bag for a long time.
- Buy from local farm stores: Get your vegetables and other food items fresh from local farmers around you. This way, you don’t have to travel far to get food, and you also support your local economy. Having the habit of getting fresh items instead of those in boxes, cans or jars is the best. It will help us not only eat healthy but in reducing the waste associated with these packaged items. This will help greatly in greenhouse gas reduction.
- Keep a garden: Growing your food is so rewarding because it saves some money and also eliminates packaging waste. When your fruits and vegetables are ready for consumption, all you have to do is to pluck, wash and eat. No plastic for packaging is in use.
- Make your food and store: There are many prepackaged foods that we can make. They can easily be done and stored in cans and jars, which are safer—creating time to make this food will help us eliminate the preservatives associated with prepacked foods. It also helps our kidneys and other vital organs stay stronger. By doing this, you succeed in removing the waste of packaging food and choosing to recycle your packaging.
- Recycle biodegradable materials: You probably already do the above six tips. But wait; are you conscious of recycling those papers, glass, and jars materials we use for storing and buying food? When we think our biodegradable material’s shelf life is over, we should locate a nearby recycling factory instead of throwing them in our normal garbage spot.
It’s important to note that, in all of these, being able to cut out food packaging is still a luxury for many. Stores that sell loose food are often in higher-income neighborhoods. And people who live in lower-income neighborhoods have limited access or budgets. However, to whichever extent you can afford, work to reduce your food packaging.
When you adhere to these useful tips for reducing waste, you will be able to make some significant changes. Consciously reducing our food packing waste shows that we care for the earth, ourselves, and the future generation.