Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zero Plastic Groceries!

Because I am participating in Zero Plastic Week, I will try to buy no plastic for a whole week.! Yesterday I did groceries for the first part of the week. And I made some pictures in the process that I want to share.
I only went to a normal supermarket this time around. The special organic shops are on the other side of the city and with my low energy level it is not realistic for us to cross the city for groceries. When I made my grocery list, I kept the menu simple to increase the chance of success. But i also knew that there were some challenges on the way.

No, normally I don't make my grocery lists in English, but I thought it would be fun to include it. On the menu for this week there will be couscous salad (Mon+Tue) Spinach, potatoes (already has those) and a meat replacement (Wed), Risotto (Thu+Fri). I knew that feta could be bought in glass jars, couscous and risotto were in boxes, also the frozen spinach comes in a cardboard box. The drinks and the meat replacement would be the hardest to find.

Here they are: the small selection of meat replacements in our local supermarket. Not only is the selection small, but every single one of them in in plastic. I could of course make my own, but that was not the challenge here. Sometimes you just want a simple meal, no fuss, but vegetarian and no plastic is not a combo you can make if you want an easy option. So because I still eat fish on occasion, I went with fishburgers instead, from the freezer in a cardboard box.

For feta I choose the glass jar. It also seems that from the shelved cheese feta is the only one that comes without a plastic package.

As expected rice isn't the issue here. Luckily enough :)

Next up were drinks. You see those plastic caps? On each of every one of them. Except for the plain milk on the left. The problem is, I don't tolerate milk all that well so drinking it isn't and option for me. I can handle it in small dosis for cooking or baking, but not too much.

I still have plenty of tea I can drink at home, but even that I wouldn't be able to buy because everything is wrapped in plastic.

Hold on! On the top shelf there is tea in a can. Fair trade and twice as expensive. But we have an option if I would need new tea ;)

Ice cream also proved rather difficult. The cornetto's would be game, but then there is the vanilla issue. Not one of them have real vanilla, I checked them. It wasn't on the package. And no way I am eating that beaver juice they use to make ice cream taste like vanilla ;) So I skipped the ice cream :(

These ones would have ben an option, because I know that in the snack bar, they are wrapped in a carton box, no plastic wrappers... but of course there is a layer of plastic around the multi pack.

These were eventually my almost zero plastic groceries. The bread we bought at a Turkish bakery nearby and they wrapped it in paper for us, so we could use one of our older plastic bread sacks we had at home. We did found some canned croissants too, so we bought those. But look at the right: we looked all over the store but nothing was without plastic caps. Except for small soda cans. We don't really drink soda. So we made the best choice we could. Lemonade in a tin bottle, but with a plastic cap. We choose for lemonade because you mix it with water and therefore it will last us more than a week. But still I feel bummed about it that we couldn't do it.

That being said, I think we did pretty well for a first try. But... I have simplified my menu big time, and there would be a lot of things that we couldn't buy anymore at all. For one week this is doable, because you can just say: oh well then we won't buy it this week, but the next week. I am sad that there aren't many options and that I already know that even after only one trip, it will be hard to make some easy permanent changes that I hoped for. Except taking out own bags to shop and not buying fresh fruits and veggies in plastic. If you happen to do know easy replacements for every day life, I would love to find out. Today has been easy, no groceries are being done on Tuesdays. But tomorrow is market day.


  1. I didn't realise it would be that difficult! Well done.

  2. Check your cans - most are lined with a thin layer of plastic, to stop acid in the contents attacking the metal...

    1. Check my cans? I can't actually open them in the store... And it doesn't say on the package either. So I am not sure how, unless not buying the brand again when I see it at home...

  3. In the USA, we have some juice concentrates that come in pop-top aluminum cans. Juicy Juice is an American type, but there may be Dutch manufacturers, too. For bread, you may want to invest in a bread maker. We found one at a charity shop for 7 dollars, and we use it all the time. It isn't too time-consuming to make a loaf a week, as the bread maker does all of the work.

    Don't feel guilty about buying some things with plastic wrappers. If you make as many non-plastic choices as you can, you are still improving your overall impact on the earth.