Why I hate grocery shopping in the UK

Hi everyone! I want to share some thoughts and feelings that have spinning around in my head more and more. To be honest I’m incredibly frustrated with this situation and I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s a blog post I’ve been wanting to write for a while but I wanted to do it justice and that takes time but the time has finally come and this is what I want to share.

I really dislike grocery shopping in the UK. It’s stressful and I feel like we are forced into making decisions and purchases that we don’t want to make.

Let me explain why. Plastic. Plastic everywhere. It’s actually insane the amount plastic UK grocery stores use. The only reason I can think as to why all our fruit and veg in this country is packaged the way it is is for Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys etc. to sell more. This in turn means that we as consumers don’t have a choice on whether we first of all, want to use plastic (if the fruit and veg was loose we at least have the choice to put it in a plastic bag or not) and we can’t decide the quantities we purchase, which can lead to unnecessary food waste.

All this plastic packaging is so extremely wasteful. I don’t know about you but as soon as I get home, I take the packaging off the majority of the time before I put it away. It really has no purpose. Then the next frustrating thing is that you can’t even recycle plastic bags here in Scotland (I’m not sure about the rest of the UK) so I have to bin the bags. It’s soul destroying when you want to help the environment and want the planet to survive this plastic takeover but you can’t, you have no choice.

I read about France starting to ban the use of plastic in supermarkets and Swedish supermarkets starting to label fruit and veg with laser (“natural branding) to reduce the use of plastic stickers (M&S here in the UK has started trialling this method too). This is how it should be, grocery shops wanting to change and do better for the environment, but I feel as though grocery stores here in the UK are seriously lagging behind in this matter.

You guys know how much I love cooking and food, it’s a big passion in my life but these experiences have started to make me feel really unhappy shopping for food. I feel powerless and that I don’t have a choice in the matter when I go to these big supermarkets. I always try and look for produce without plastic but sometimes it’s nearly impossible. I’m also aware that what you purchase is a vote on what you think is okay, what you want to see in supermarkets and this thought frustrates me even more. I feel like I loose every time I have to give in to buying something with plastic on.

I mean how ironic is it that organic bananas are packaged in plastic? Whilst the non-organic aren’t. It’s ridiculous.

I want supermarkets to take responsibility for their actions, I want them to want to follow this change which is happening in countries like France and Sweden. This way of operating at the moment unsustainable and as a human-beings on this planet I think it’s so selfish of these companies.

300 million tons of plastic is produced every year and you think at this day and age companies should do all in their power to make a difference. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the sea every year.

Just to understand further how plastic is affecting our oceans and wildlife I watched the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” and it was heartbreaking to see birds and other animals with stomachs absolutely rammed full with bits of plastic. Definitely worth a watch, it is eye opening.

I have seen a little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Only today when I was researching the topic for this blog post I saw a relatively new article since my last research. Supermarkets are now being urged by the organisation “A Plastic Planet” to have plastic-free aisles (read here and here). Watch their video over on Sky News on their Facebook page here (give it a like as well!). It’s a start and I’m hoping this will be the beginning of a change in the UK grocery industry because this situation breaking my heart. It’s quite an easy change to implement and it would make a considerable difference for our environment and the planet. If you want to join in trying to get plastic-free aisles you can sign the petition here.

What do you guys think about the situation? Is it something you’ve thought about when you’re grocery shopping? I would love to hear. If you haven’t thought of this, I’m hoping maybe this will open your eyes a little bit 🙂

Just writing this blog post and doing a bit of research I’ve realised how much bigger this issue is than just our plastic in supermarkets. I’m definitely going to make a more conscious effort to avoid plastic as much as I can in everyday life. Join me! ❤


2 thoughts on “Why I hate grocery shopping in the UK

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