This clever plastic-free food shopping hack will help you do your bit for the environment

With the very much needed rise of environmental consciousness, businesses across the country (and the world) have begun to do their bit – especially British supermarkets.

Earlier this week, the nation’s favourite supermarket, Waitrose, announced the launch of their new ‘refillable zones’ to help cut down on plastic use.

In a statement, Tor Harris, from Waitrose & Partners, explained: ‘We are determined to build on the work we’ve already done to reduce packaging, and this test will take our efforts to a whole new level as we help the growing number of customers who want to shop in a more sustainable way.

plastic-free food shopping
Getty Images

‘We know we’re not perfect and have more to do, but we believe this is an innovative way to achieve something different.’

Similarly, other supermarkets such as Lidl, Iceland and Asda have made similar efforts to cut down on the use of plastic over the past year, with Lidl stopping the use of black plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables and Iceland becoming the first UK supermarket to introduce a plastic deposit return scheme in 2018.

So, what can we as shoppers do to help reduce the use of plastic? Well, a savvy Instagram user has revealed a genius hack that she uses when shopping for groceries and is encouraging the rest of us to get on board.

Gilly Smith, who is a food writer, explained to her followers that is doing a ‘plastic free living’ challenge in which she only buying food that is not in plastic wrapping.

Sharing an Instagram post of her latest supermarket shop, she wrote: ‘Right then. Day One of #plasticfreeliving to offset the climate sin of Barcelona last week, and I’ve found a new way of supermarket shopping.

‘Instead of choosing locally/seasonally, I’m only buying what’s not in plastic wrapping. And this is it. The only fruit and veg in the whole of Uckfield Waitrose, save a few potatoes. Apart from the oranges and aubergines, it’s not bad on the food miles either.’

Avoiding pre-packed fruit and veg and ditching the bags for loose produce is just one way that customers can avoid unnecessary waste, as Gilly proves. ‘Love this stickers on the trolley hack!!’ one of her followers exclaimed.

Other options including bringing your own refillable containers when possible, choosing products from bakery and deli counters rather than long-life on-the-shelf options, as well as bringing your own reusable shopping bags to take your purchases away with you. You could also consider home milk delivery, as this will usually come in glass rather than plastic.

Will you be giving plastic-free food shopping a try?