A Redditor took note on the Reddit thread r/mildlyinfruiating, with photos of canned and bottled drinks packaged together — not with plastic rings, which are notoriously harmful to the environment — but with something even worse.
The drinks are laid flat with plastic wrapped all the way around them — packaged the same way meat would be.
This excess packaging is a painfully common trend — meal kits from HelloFresh are known to come with small items individually wrapped, and other grocery stores over-package their produce that doesn’t need to be wrapped up in the first place — much like these drinks.
What makes it even worse is that other countries have figured out how to efficiently sell bulk items that do need packaging — meanwhile the U.S. can’t take a page from their books with items that don’t even need to be wrapped up to begin with.
This excess plastic doesn’t even help the buyer — it’s more work to unwrap everything and throw out the plastic. One user mentioned that it doesn’t make sense for sanitary reasons either, “Security seals already exist on bottles, and cans are easily washed,” they pointed out.
Plus, plastic bottles already take enough of a toll on the environment — it takes at least 450 years for them to break down. Adding even more plastic into that equation, 85% of which will be thrown out in the U.S., poses an even greater threat to our ecosystems.
Plastics often break down into tiny pieces called microplastics, which end up in oceans and waterways. From there, they are ingested by animals large and small, and can even make it all the way up the food chain to end up on your dinner plate.
Redditors were angry in the comments — “Yeah, this is pretty infuriating,” wrote one user.
Others were understandably frustrated, feeling as if their efforts to curb their waste were in vain, “I gave up plastic straws for this?” wrote another.
It’s important to remember though, with time and awareness, small actions can turn into something big. The next step is making companies like grocery store chains listen to what people have to say.
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