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Confused customer shares photo of over-packaged product sold at grocery store: 'They're selling more plastic than food'

"Found this at the grocery store the other day. Why on Earth?"

"Found this at the grocery store the other day. Why on Earth?"

Photo Credit: iStock

Plastic packaging is hard on the environment — so packaging within packaging is even worse. But sadly, double-wrapped packaging is common when companies sell single-use and single-serving products. One Canadian shopper was frustrated to find this style of packaging on sandwich ingredients at their local grocery store.

What happened?

The shopper shared their experience on r/Anticonsumption. "Peanut butter and jam, anyone?" they asked sarcastically, before attaching a photo showing how the Canadian grocery chain Metro sells those items.

"Found this at the grocery store the other day. Why on Earth?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo shows stacks of clear, clamshell boxes sealed with price labels. Inside, each one holds a few of the individual-serving-size packages of jam or peanut butter.

"Found this at the grocery store the other day. Why on Earth?" the original poster demanded. "Also, sold $4.50 CAD for eight cups."

In other words, Metro is charging more than 56 Canadian cents for a small spoonful of jam or peanut butter, and it comes wrapped in multiple layers of plastic.

As one disgusted commenter said: "They're selling more plastic than food."

Why does it matter if Metro generates plastic trash?

Firstly, these bulky packages are inconvenient for buyers. Most of the package is empty air, taking up buyers' storage space. Secondly, it means buyers have to deal with many more pieces of trash than they would if they bought an ordinary jar of jam or peanut butter.

What's worse is the impact this practice has on the environment. Almost all of that plastic is impossible to recycle because the pieces are too small, and almost no plastic trash gets recycled in the United States. Instead, it either goes into a landfill to spend a century or more decomposing, or it enters the environment as litter and contributes to the ever-increasing amount of microplastic pollution.

What is Metro doing to reduce its impact on the environment?

According to the Metro website, the company is working on reducing its environmental damage in several ways. "Our priorities: reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, manage our waste, and reduce food waste," the company says. That includes diverting over 2,300 tons of plastic film for recycling in 2023.

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However, the company does not mention any effort to reduce its total plastic usage or eliminate excessive packaging.

What can I do about excess plastic packaging?

If you're buying food, try to choose a single large package instead of many small packages when possible. Also, look for companies that offer plastic-free, recycled, or recyclable packaging.

You can also eliminate the need for at least some plastic packaging by growing your own produce at home.

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