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Wegmans shopper shares dismay over packaging found in produce aisle: 'This is just so bizarre to me'

They're labeled with the Wegmans logo along with cooking instructions for the microwave.

They're labeled with the Wegmans logo along with cooking instructions for the microwave.

Photo Credit: iStock

While we expect to see packaging on many processed products at the grocery store, whole fruits and veggies come with their own natural packaging and have typically been sold loose. 

However, today's grocery stores are introducing more and more plastic to the produce aisle. Sadly, Wegmans has joined the list of offenders with individual plastic-wrapped potatoes.

What happened?

A Reddit user shared a photo of the unfortunate packaging on r/mildlyinfuriating. "The plastic waste from these individually plastic wrapped potatoes," they complained.

They're labeled with the Wegmans logo along with cooking instructions for the microwave.
Photo Credit: Reddit

The photo is a closeup of a store display full of potatoes, each shrink-wrapped. They're labeled with the Wegmans logo and "russet potato," along with microwave cooking instructions.

Potatoes seem to get this treatment frequently, and other Redditors have shared many other examples from other stores.

"In all my life I've never wanted or needed a single potato," said a commenter. "This is just so bizarre to me."

Why does the plastic matter?

For buyers, a plastic-wrapped potato is more expensive than a loose one because it takes more materials and labor to produce. Plus, unwrapping it and disposing of the trash adds extra steps to cooking.

Meanwhile, small pieces of plastic wrap like the ones used on these potatoes are a shockingly big problem for our recycling system when all individual cases of them across the world are added up. They're too small to go through recycling equipment and can even damage it.

If not recycled, these pieces of plastic will then either take up space in a landfill or end up in the environment, shedding microplastics.

What is Wegmans doing to reduce plastic waste?

Wegmans did not respond to The Cool Down's email request for comment on this produce packaging. 

While the potato packaging might not be ideal, the company is moving forward in other ways. For example, it recently removed the plastic windows from its store-brand boxes of pasta, making the cardboard easier to recycle.

Still, it has a long way to go, with many other products, such as pizza, being sold in wasteful plastic packaging.

What can I do to cut out plastics?

When you need a potato or other vegetable, there's always an option to grow it yourself for an affordable, all-natural, zero-plastic end product.

If that won't work in your situation, the next best option is to find a provider that keeps the environment in mind. Choose a store or a local grower with minimal plastic packaging.

Finally, look for other areas where you can replace a plastic product with something longer-lasting and better for the environment. For example, use a metal razor instead of disposable ones.

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