By now we are all versed in the evils of single-use plastic products and their impact on the environment, yet not enough is being done to tackle this issue. Like many, I am disheartened when I walk into a supermarket and see shelves lined with plastic packaging. It’s a big problem, which is why it might seem counterintuitive when I ask you to turn your attention to one small segment of this big problem: packaging of citrus fruits in polypropylene mesh bags.
Hear me out.
Polypropylene mesh bags are harmful for the environment and for wildlife. Polypropylene is a plastic that has a high rate of degradation when exposed to UV light, leading to the release of dangerous microplastics in our land and oceans. Additionally, prior to and during degradation, these bags are hazardous to wildlife which can become tangled and trapped in their mesh. They also often contain one or more mouldy fruits, leading to both customer dissatisfaction and to increased food waste.
The practice of packaging citrus fruits is completely unnecessary. Citrus fruits have a sturdy rind that makes them ideal for selling and storing loose. There would be no need for a supermarket to invest in more expensive biodegradable packaging as a replacement for the mesh bags, as the fruits could instead be sold individually.
I am therefore campaigning Morrisons Supermarkets to stop packaging their citrus fruits in polypropylene mesh bags and to sell them loose instead.
While this might seem like a small goal, Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK with 494 stores in the country. Imagine the impact if 494 stores ceased using these bags to package their lemons, limes, and oranges, and instead sold them loose – it adds up.
Many people have asked why this campaign does not target all supermarkets and all of their produce packaging. I believe that by targeting one supermarket and one unsustainable practice, we are more likely to affect change than asking for a sweeping change across the entire industry. Once we have achieved this one small change, we can use it to leverage Morrisons and other supermarkets to further improve their sustainable practices.
I hope that you will consider joining me by signing the petition and sharing it with your friends, family, and networks in the UK. Together we can achieve this change for the planet and all her creatures.
A message from the guest blogger:
This campaign started two weeks ago when I was doing the shopping at my local Morrisons in Northampton. My usual frustration at seeing the amount of plastic packaging tipped into action when I reflected on how unnecessary it is to package citrus fruits. I went home and began developing a plan of action, starting with this petition.
Although I don’t live in Eastbourne, I am so inspired by the strides made toward carbon neutrality and the community effort that has gone into bringing about change. I believe that it’s exactly the type of effort needed to make this campaign a success. I hope that everyone will spend the 2 minutes it takes to sign and share!