Meal kits may seem like a good way to easily prepare a home-cooked meal with no food waste. However, the amount of plastic waste generated by these companies is enough to cancel out all those benefits and then some. One customer recently took to Reddit to share the over-the-top amount of plastic packaging that came with their meal kit.
“There were 20 separate plastic containers for ingredients in our home delivery meal for a family of four. This includes six packets for sour cream and four packets for stock concentrate,” the poster wrote, sharing with the other members of the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit.
“According to their website, ‘We believe that sustainability means caring for the planet and its people. We’re committed to helping eliminate food waste, fight climate change, and innovative sustainable packaging.’ Can’t stand the waste and unsubscribing.”
Although the poster did not call out which meal kit company they had been forced to unsubscribe from, the language they quoted from the section about sustainability is very close to the language currently on the HelloFresh website.
But whether it was HelloFresh (which has been called out for wasteful packaging practices in the past, such as individually shrink-wrapping single peeled cloves of garlic) or one of the others, all of the meal kit companies seem to have a big problem with plastic packaging.
Green Chef, for example, which specifically markets itself as “eco-friendly” also sends customers individual plastic-wrapped green onions.
Single-use plastics are a big problem. They are made out of crude oil, a non-renewable resource that contributes massively to the overheating of our planet. Around 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year, with much of it ending up in the oceans, where it kills marine life. And more single-use plastic is produced for packaging than for any other sector.
That’s why it’s so important to take any meal kit company’s claims of environmental sustainability with a grain of salt (not included with the meal kit).
“Ah, looks like HelloFresh. Loved getting like three nuts in a separate bag multiple times for the same meal,” wrote one commenter.
“If you really care, stop paying them and go get your groceries like everyone else in the world,” another put more bluntly.
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