How to take on plastic free at the supermarket

Many of us look around at the supermarket and know that we want to try reducing plastic – but it seems almost impossible to start. So much of the supermarket stock is wrapped with plastic.

A woman in NSW gave it a go.

Being plastic free at a mainstream supermarket isn’t easy – but Helen Hughes is giving it a go.

Helen Hughes in the NSW Hunter’s Valley has been trying to reduce her plastic use for a year now. She buys her meat from the butcher in a reusable container, her bread from the bakery in a paper bag, and her vegetables from a produce market. Now, she’s taken on the supermarket challenge.

“I was able to find a plastic-free item for most of the things on the list, but I did find it hard in the toilet paper and paper towel aisle,” she said. “I also had to avoid the frozen section.”

Ms Hughes uses beeswax wrappers and silicon covers, and will put food in a bowl and simply cover it with a plate in the fridge. She says there are so many things people can do to reduce plastic. However, her bathroom and laundry aren’t going as well as the kitchen.

With most mainstream body and cleaning products packaged in plastic, it was a daunting task. So Ms Hughes took a simple approach. She changed out the easier items first, swapping her plastic toothbrush for one made of corn starch that she can compost at the end of its life. She replaced her liquid soap with an old-fashioned soap bar, and her face wipes with a reusable cotton face washer.

Her advice

Her advice for others using the pandemic as an excuse to be better for the environment is simple.

“Trying to get rid of single-use plastic is one of the best ways to start. Anything plastic that we do have we try to make sure that it isn’t single use. For example, we wash the ziplock bags and put them on the line and then re-use them several times.”


Information taken from the Bellingen Courier.

Read about our chance to save the oceans from plastic, and the potential single-use plastics ban in Queensland, on our blog.


Article by Tallis Baker

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