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Shopper calls attention to preventable mistake made by countless stores: 'Such a waste'

This practice costs the store money it won't make back in sales.

This practice costs the store money it won't make back in sales.

Photo Credit: TikTok

An Australian shopper has taken to TikTok to call out irresponsible practices by major supermarkets and service stations in the country.

On the simplyplasticfreeau account (@simplyplasticfreeau), the TikToker described how some stores buy huge pallets of ice bags and leave them out in the sun, where they melt and become useless to both shop and consumer.

@simplyplasticfreeau What a waste of plastic!!! so much soft plastic going straight to landfill 💔 #plastic #softplastic #colessupermarket #saynotoplastic ♬ original sound - simplyplasticfreeau

As commenters observed, this typically happens around Christmas or holiday events, when stores buy too much ice that doesn't fit in available freezers and then leave the bags outside. 

While the ice itself is contained in a plastic bag, the pallet is also wrapped in lots of plastic. That's a lot of waste for something that wasn't even sold.

Some commenters pointed out that the bags would become waste whether they were sold or not, but as the TikToker observed, if so many bags aren't purchased on a regular basis, there's no need to overorder. This will cost the store money it won't make back in sales, and it will demonstrate there is still a high demand for the product, which will continue to be produced.

A couple of alternative suggestions were put forward to alleviate the issue. Instead of buying ice at the supermarket, shoppers could just plan ahead and make their ice at home. 

Stores could also invest in an ice machine, where customers could fill up a vessel and pay for what they need by weight. That will stop the needless production of plastic that might not even be accepted at a recycling center.

If that's the case, the bags will just head to landfills, where they will contribute to the production of planet-warming methane gas. They could also be blown by the wind into animal habitats, green spaces, or water sources, where they could leach harmful chemicals or be ingested by creatures.

"They've started doing it at my local [service station] theres a freezer right next to it as well," one commenter said. 

"It's such a waste but people want ice so I don't know what bottle shops can do," another added.

If you need ice for an event, you can buy reusable silicone or plastic ice trays, and you can start making cubes days before the event. What's more, the trays can also be used for other purposes, such as freezing pasta sauces to make them last longer or freezing plant-based milk before it expires. 

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