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Supermarket customer sparks debate after sharing photo of product found in produce section: 'It's irritating'

"The amount of waste from this is very sad."

"The amount of waste from this is very sad."

Photo Credit: iStock

More and more social media users are posting about their experiences with unnecessary packaging in the produce aisle. While plastic wrap on fruits and veggies can sometimes serve a purpose, it often creates more inconvenience and pollution than it's worth.

One Redditor found a frustrating example when their aunt brought them potatoes from their local grocery store. 

What happened? 

The Redditor shared a photo of the purchase. "Individually plastic-wrapped potatoes. The amount of waste from this is very sad," said the original poster.

Their photo shows three Russet potatoes on a stone countertop. Each one is wrapped in plastic with a label stuck onto it, complete with "Bakeables" branding and a bar code.

"Wouldn't want this thing that came out of the ground and is still covered in dirt to get dirty," said one sarcastic commenter.

"It's irritating. Says it's ready to heat and bake in the microwave. And that it's been washed three times. Plastic and water waste together," replied the original poster.

"The crazy part of this is what are they optimizing?" questioned another Redditor. "...What do they gain from the extremely slight shelf life increase of a potato vs the cost of the plastic and effort to cover it in plastic?"

The wrapped potatoes are just one example of a growing trend in which products are increasingly turning up with more packaging than they need.

Why does the plastic matter?

Plastic and the time and equipment it takes to wrap products this way costs money. Manufacturers that increase their packaging also have to bump up prices to make up for the added costs.

Meanwhile, when you peel away that extra layer of plastic, it's almost impossible to recycle. Instead, it ends up in a landfill or in the ocean, where sea life may be harmed because they try to eat it.

What is Side Delights doing to make its plastic packaging less impactful?

According to Side Delights, the manufacturer of the Bakeables potatoes, it has done its best to make the wrapping safe for plants and people. Since the whole package is designed to be baked without opening it, it's made with food-safe plastic free from BPA, according to the Side Delights website.

The company also claimed to use recycled and eco-friendly packaging where possible. "We work with world-class packaging manufacturers to create eco-friendly packing materials, such as paper-based bags for some of our product lines. All of our poly bags and microwaveable trays are recyclable," it said in its FAQ.

What can you do to minimize plastic waste?

Ultimately, even the most responsible and recycling-friendly plastic wrap is still worse for the environment than no plastic. Wherever possible, choosing produce with the minimum amount of packaging is the best option.

You can even grow your own food at home using these effective garden hacks to really cut back on waste and pollution.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

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