Starting the year off right with reusable produce bags

Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 21:02
Reusable produce bags start the year off right with organic produce from Whole Foods (formerly Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana).
Reusable produce bags holding organic produce from Whole Foods, formerly known as Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana

Every day I hear more news stories about our planet’s burgeoning plastic problem and I realize we truly are at a tipping point. It exciting and disturbing. The exciting part is that many more people are listening to the fact that this truly is a problem. The disturbing part is the work that lies ahead of us to change not only our behavior but that of corporations.

Driving home from work today I listened to this story on NPR: An Island Crusader Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste. The report focuses on Asian countries that consume products designed for consumers that can’t afford to purchase large amounts, so companies package them in small plastic “sachets.” Here’s how the article describes one poor village near Manila Bay:

“People live elbow to elbow in shacks elevated a few feet above ankle-deep water from the neighboring swamp. Below their shacks, you can’t tell whether it’s dirt or water because it’s all literally covered with a uniform carpet of plastic debris, most of it empty sachets.”

According to the article, two of the companies that are marketing products in this way, Nestle and Unilever, have plans to make all their packaging recyclable by 2025. (Those companies are on my list to target about their packaging for markets in the U.S.)

I was so thrilled to hear this report, that it completely overtook my planned post today. Oh yeah, reusable produce bags. They’re a really good idea. I received some as a Christmas gift and used them at Whole Foods last weekend. See the picture, above. Does anyone remember Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana? It was a great little store, every bit as much Whole Paycheck as its successor. Oh well. I have a feeling that more and more of whole paycheck in 2019 will be going toward figuring this plastic thing out, but the rewards will be worth it.

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