I sometimes pop into Lidl on my way home from work, and would usually like to buy some fruit and veg but it really pisses me off as if I don’t want my fruit covered in plastic my choices are severely limited. So imagine my surprise when I saw these mandarins in… wait for it CARDBOARD!
This site was set up years ago, 2005 I think and I’ve periodically posted examples of bad packaging and contacted the manufacturers and generally whinged about it. Well for once I’m being nice and posting something positive. Lidl are pretty terrible as I’ve said in the past when it comes to packaging (check out their plastic apples) but it is great to see some effort being made to turn this around.
I wasn’t planning to buy mandarins but I decided to just because of the lack of plastic, we all need to do this, vote with our money, money is what the supermarkets want, so when they are good let them have a bit, when they are bad, don’t spend a penny with them!
Packaging like this is more difficult for transportation etc, it is more expensive and can offer less protection which is why the plastic plague started in the first place, brought on mainly by the demands of supermarkets on the suppliers, so only send them stuff they can stack high and transport for miles.
It wasn’t always like this, my father and his father worked in the fruit and veg business, before the supermarkets came in and took over the whole supply chain and basically dictated how they want their fruit and veg and also how much they want to pay for it. It started a race to the bottom, to cut costs as much as possible, not necessarily to pass this on to the consumer, but to increase margins (if you think supermarkets are cheaper just go down to your local green grocer if you still have one and you’ll see that ain’t the case). This squeeze on suppliers meant more profits, and now everyone was buying fruit and veg from the supermarkets they could condition customers into thinking fruit needs to come in plastic to keep it ‘clean’. Not long ago when I was young I remember seeing all the fruit come in cardboard boxes and pallets. Plastic mostly isn’t necessary for food packaging, it’s just cheaper. This is why supermarkets use it, to make more profit. Just say no to it and they will change.
Could we be on the first steps to going back to non plastic packaging? I hope so!