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Shopper shares frustration over pizza packaging spotted at major grocer: 'I assume they toss them'

"Quite the life cycle for a slice of pizza."

"Quite the life cycle for a slice of pizza."

Photo Credit: iStock

Plastic packaging is common in grocery stores, but some products take it too far. Heavy plastic packaging on individual servings of food is wasteful, making it expensive for buyers and hard on the environment. One Redditor is on a crusade against plastic-wrapped items — specifically, the individual slices of pizza at Wegmans.

What happened?

The grocery store Wegmans sells individual slices of pizza in specially made, triangular plastic clamshell packaging. According to this Redditor, who makes a habit of tracking the amount of pizza for sale at their local store, these "used" pizza slices are likely leftovers.

Photo Credit: Reddit

"I think they box/plastic clamp these up if they do not sell fresh at the pizza bar (or whatever they call that nowadays)," they speculated. "They seem to then sit out and congeal for four days as presented in the picture. Then I assume they toss them. Quite the life cycle for a slice of pizza."

According to a previous post from the Redditor, there were no individual slices out at a recent visit — only whole pizzas, which use much less packaging per serving. However, by the time of this new post, the triangular packages had returned.

Why does it matter if Wegmans sells individual pizza slices?

As the Redditor pointed out, the pizza pictured in their photo has a sell-by date three days later than the time the photo was posted on Reddit. That means that buyers might be getting pizza that's three days old or more when they buy these individual slices — not a good way to get a quality slice.

Not only that, but the clamshell packaging is a major issue. Plastic takes a hundred years or more to break down in nature, so it will take up space in a landfill for at least that long. Only a very small percentage of plastic is recycled, while an alarming amount ends up in the ocean and other bodies of water, polluting them.

"Thank god they got rid of plastic bags to be more sustainable so we could have these pizza clams," said one sarcastic commenter.

What is Wegmans doing to reduce plastic waste?

According to Wegmans, it has been working on cutting back its usage of new plastic since 2016. Instead, it makes its packages with a high content of recycled plastic, plant-based materials, and mineral fillers. It also uses less material in some packages than before, and has made many items recyclable.

Still, there are non-plastic alternatives out there that would be much better for the planet.

What can I do to avoid plastic waste?

Choosing a whole, bake-at-home pizza is a good way to reduce plastic waste and ensure your food is fresh while still enjoying a convenient meal from Wegmans. If you want to look further afield for better options, check for competitors that avoid plastic packaging and cut down on food waste, like Detroit's PizzaPlex.

In general, you can use reusable containers for your own food at home — and sometimes even for takeout!

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