Plastic is everywhere, no matter how much we’d like to avoid it. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the equivalent of 2,000 trucks of plastic are dumped in the world’s water systems every day.
What’s especially infuriating, though, is buying a product and later discovering it has way more single-use plastic than you first anticipated.
One shopper experienced such frustration with a bag of coconut cookies from major grocery chain Auchan.
Posting on the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, they provided a picture of the offending item. The plastic package contained six of the tasty treats, but all were individually wrapped and then placed in a plastic tray for good measure.
“That amount of plastic,” the Redditor lamented.
The comments section was also perplexed about the packaging decision.
“It looks like you could do with some more plastic with those cookies,” quipped one Redditor.
One user suggested a possible reason why Auchan sold the product as such. The cookies were gluten-free, so having them in individual baggies was likely an attempt to avoid cross-contamination that would harm celiacs.
Still, that doesn’t excuse the plastic tray, which seems wholly unnecessary.
Contacting a company directly can make them aware of concerns about such packaging and the impact it can have on the environment.
Indeed, as the UNEP pointed out, plastic pollution can easily impact the natural habitats of marine and land-based animals, and the knock-on effects could impact food production capabilities later down the line.
And while it’s difficult to steer clear of all plastic packaging, some companies provide incentives for customers who recycle old plastic waste.
L’Occitane, for example, has partnered with TerraCycle to make it easier and beneficial for consumers to keep harmful plastic out of landfills.
Recycling old lip balm tubes, deodorant sticks, perfume pumps, face mask packaging, and hair care dispensers, among other items, can earn loyal customers a 10% discount on future purchases.
Meanwhile, at home, reusable water bottles can reduce reliance on single-use containers and save consumers money in the long term.
A 2021 report from Beyond Plastics found that only 9% of plastics are recycled, reinforcing the need to avoid plastic bottles when possible.
In 2020, 232 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution came from the United States’ plastics industry, so ending our reliance on such packaging is essential to stop the planet-warming gases they create.
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