6 Easy Steps to Reduce Your Plastic Waste at the Grocery Store

canvas bag

A reader asked me how she could reduce the amount of plastic she brings home from the grocery store each time she goes shopping? I’ve got so many ideas I had to break it up into two posts. Side note please always feel free to send me your questions about living more sustainably; send me an email or chat with me on Facebook or Instagram, I LOVE talking about this stuff! There are so many decisions we make when we go grocery shopping, with just as many ways to reduce plastic consumption along the way. Reducing waste is HUGE when it comes to living more sustainably. So let’s get right too it!

  1. Do the majority of your shopping in the U of the grocery store: Most grocery stores are laid out in the same way. Along the outside perimeter or U of the store is where the real food lays (produce, dairy, meat, bakery) and this food has significantly less packaging. It’s also a lot cheaper, fresher and healthier. Processed food is not only wrapped in plastic, but expensive and not very good for you.
  2. Bring your own reusable shopping bags: This I hope is second nature to you all by now;) I love the canvas ones, plus they’re cuter.
  3. Bring your own reusable produce bags: This is something I’ve only just started doing and like when I started bringing my own shopping bags (over a decade ago) I sometimes forget, so don’t beat yourself up when you’re learning this new habit.They work great! This is the brand I have.
  4. Not all produce needs to be put in a bag: Think of your bananas, oranges (any citrus really), squashes or avocados Mother Nature gave them their own “wrapper”. If you’re buying one or two cucumbers, zucchinis or peppers do they really need to be put in a plastic produce bag? I stopped using plastic produce bags for everything but my greens, they keep them fresher than my reusable produce bags. I also reuse then numerous times. You might be thinking ok Alyson that works great when I’m not eating the skin but really cucumbers and peppers? Step 5 is your answer my friend say goodbye to those one use unnecessary plastic produce bags.
  5. Use Veggie Wash: Using veggie wash is awesome for a few reasons. It helps reduce not only the amount of germs that may tagged along on your produce on its journey from the farm to your local grocery store but it can also reduce the amount of pesticides and residues found on non-organic produce, win win!
  6. When buying packaged food buy the bigger version: What I mean by this is instead of buying that plastic wrapped box that has many small chip bags buy one large chip bag and put some in a reusable container to bring to lunch each day. Same goes for yogurt and juice boxes. Even buying the bigger bag of rice or pasta is better than buying a one pound bag every shopping trip. I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea. :)

What do you do to reduce your plastic consumption at the grocery store? Are you going to give any of these tips a try? I’d love to know! Check back soon for the second part of my article.

Simply Alyson Peace & Love




10 thoughts on “6 Easy Steps to Reduce Your Plastic Waste at the Grocery Store

  1. I had NO idea veggie wash did all of that! I thought it was just some crazy gimmick to spend unnecessary $$ when soap and water could do the same thing! Guess whats now on my shopping list! Thanks Lady!

    1. I totally thought that too at first. It’s pretty great especially if you eat mostly non-organic produce. Glad to hear your’re going to give it a try :)

  2. Great suggestions! Another thing I do is, instead of buying boxes or bags of pasta, rice, sugar, etc. I get them from the bulk bins. Even Kroger has bulk bins these days and it’s usually cheaper, as well as a way to buy as much or as little as you need. And, little packaging, or even NONE if you bring containers from home to put stuff in! (I use glass jars, and have customer service or a cashier mark the weight of the jars before I fill them so I don’t pay for their weight.)

    1. Bonnie you rock and are totally ahead of the curve! Bulk bins are awesome for reducing plastic. They are totally going to be apart of “part two” of this post. Glad to hear you’re already using them and thanks for sharing!

  3. I’ve always wanted to skip the produce bags, but figured I’d upset the cashier–that it’s easier on them to grab and weigh it if it’s in a bag. I’ll have to look for the reusable ones!

    1. Natalie you are so kind! I just group them together to help out with that and I’ve never got an upset comment or look, but the reusable produce bags make it super convenient. I’m glad to hear you’re going to give them a try :)

  4. This is super helpful, Alyson! I’m glad to know I was doing one of your tips already by simply not putting some veggies in a bag. Now I will give Veggie Wash a try as well as those great reusable bags. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thanks! I’m so happy to read that you’re going to be leaving the plastic produces bags at the store and giving veggie wash a try. I’m sure you want be disappointed:)

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