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Shopper raises concerns with photo of 'wasteful' fruit packaging found at grocery store: 'This is still not the way to do this'

"Who did that?"

"Who did that?"

Photo Credit: iStock

Lemons already have nature-made wrapping, so one shopper was disturbed when a display of the fruit revealed unnecessary measures that caused plastic waste. 

What happened?

In the subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating, a customer shared a photo of a pile of lemons from their local grocery store. Somebody had individually wrapped each fruit in plastic, and if that wasn't bad enough, several of the lemons had wrapping bunched around them, seemingly creating even further waste. 

"Who did that?"
Photo Credit: iStock

"Who did that? No, seriously, this is wasteful," one frustrated commenter wrote

"Like my grandma always said, 'If life gives you lemons, wrap them individually in plastic,'" another Redditor said sarcastically. 

Why are the plastic-wrapped lemons concerning?

It's true that many plastics can be recycled. While the material can't be recycled indefinitely, the process can help reduce its negative environmental impact. 

However, as noted by the UN Environment Programme, around 85% of plastics created for packaging just end up in landfills or as unregulated waste, leaching harmful toxins into our waters and soil and proving hazardous for wildlife

Producing the material is also a heavily polluting process, as most plastics are made from dirty fuels like oil and gasoline

Considering that nearly 40% of plastics are created solely for packaging, the grocer's decision to wrap the lemons seems like a baffling and costly waste of resources. 

Why would the store wrap the lemons in plastic?

One Redditor speculated that the store was attempting to keep the lemons fresh longer or prevent contamination from consumer handling. 

"Proper shrink wrap around lemons can extend their shelf life from weeks up to nine months," they wrote. "This is still not the way to do this…"

"So the wrapper doesn't get dirty," another commenter said in reference to the peel. 

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What can I do to reduce plastic waste from shopping? 

Growing your own food is one way to ensure no plastics are touching your fruits and veggies, and gardening provides mental and physical health benefits. 

If shopping at the grocery store is the best option for your situation, though, buying items that don't use plastic packaging and avoiding plastic single-use bags in the produce section can go a long way. 

It is possible to keep food fresh longer at home without plastic, too.

One Instagrammer recommends washing lemons with baking soda under cold water before placing them in a bag in a crisper drawer. Buying reusable silicone stasher bags rather than single-use plastic ones is cheaper in the long run and can ensure this hack doesn't create excess waste. Freezing certain citrus fruits can also keep them safe for consumption longer.

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