The key to this particular mission is to get organised before you head out. Reusable produce bags are a great way to avoid the thin plastic ones in the fruit and veg aisle (you can buy them made of mesh or cotton). If you’re buying from food service counters (the butcher, fishmonger, deli or bakery), bring reusable containers to put these items in.
Look for unwrapped fruit and vegetables. Not an option? Choose the least amount of packaging. Bigger pack sizes use less packaging overall, but don’t buy so much
that the food itself goes to waste.
make savvy choices
At the bakery, look for loose bread or rolls rather than prepackaged versions. With beauty and cleaning products, choose solids over liquids. Think bar soap, laundry powder and dishwasher tablets (not individually wrapped!)
Most grocery items are pre-packaged, though some come in recyclable paper or cardboard. Choose tins and cans over plastic bottles, and glass jars rather than plastic ones.
Aluminium and steel, along with glass, can be recycled indefinitely. This isn’t true of plastic (only 9% of plastic ever made has been recycled, and only 10% of that has been recycled more than once).
Where the only option is plastic, look for plastic numbers 1 and 2 (PET and HDPE) as these are more recyclable. Mixed materials (plastic, metal and paper smooshed up) are the hardest to recycle, so avoid where possible.
Start small. Then move on to the next thing when you’re ready. All these changes add up over time.