A trip to the grocery store can put a dent in the wallet, but it can also pile up the amount of packaging used for a variety of goods.
Since food packaging is used nearly everywhere in a conventional supermarket, it may be hard to decode what can actually be recycled.
Plastics are sorted and recycled by their assigned numbers. Recycling centers will accept a lot of plastics, but some like number 5 and number 7 plastics are more complicated to recycle and some facilities may refuse them. Programs like Gimme5 take certain number 5 plastics by offering drop offs at various locations and participating stores, as well as providing some mail in services.
If stores still use plastic bags, they normally have a bin on site to turn them back in to be recycled. You can also check on sites like PlasticBagRecycling.org to find a local one and check a list of what types of bags and wraps can be recycled. Plastic bags can be turned into numerous other plastics and wrapping materials. Also, most paper products and certain empty food containers can be recycled, however waxed food holders usually cannot.
Food zones with minimal or bring your own containers have long been utilized at whole foods stores. Also a package free, no waste grocery concept in Austin, Texas called In.gredients advertises to be leading the way in eliminating uneconomical and environmentally negative wrapping. Customers provide their own containers or can use compostable ones from the store, which saves on a huge amount of packaging waste. Reducing the amount of coverings needed for items on the shelves is more ecological, but also saves customers money.
The Local Government Association stated that nearly 40% of packaging for food items can’t be recycled under normal processes. Excess food packaging contributes to item cost as well as landfill accumulations. To reduce your package purchasing at grocery stores pick things that are covered wisely and made from recycled materials. Tips like choosing fresh, local produce and opting for bulk items can also eliminate a lot of packing waste.
For a hands-on way to educate kids about the impact of packaging excess, check out Packaging: Is It a Waste? They can rate how objects are wrapped with a handout and go on a grocery store scavenger hunt for an in depth investigation of what it takes to get food home.
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