How to reduce plastic bread packaging
Trouble it, when your on a zero waste challenge, bread comes wrapped in non recyclable plastic. We love plastic don’t we? It keeps things fresh, protected and it’s lightweight.
So what is a green family to do when they’re on a zero waste challenge?
I’ve come up with five cunning solutions.
If you’re not ready to embrace an alternative to your regular bread then think about reusing the bags rather than throwing them away. Many people buy sandwich bags, but why not save resources and money by reusing the plastic bags your bread arrives in?
Any situation where you reach for a plastic bag, consider using an old one first. They don’t take up much room and are easy to store
2- Compostable packaging
The Village Bakery launched compostable packaging last year.
Their Honey and Sunflower Bread, Spelt Bread, Organic Rye, Organic Rye with Coriander and Organic Country bread are now available in zero waste friendly packaging made from non-GM starch. They plan to switch their entire range over to this packaging in the future.
Village bakery bread is nothing like the Mothers pride white stuff that many people like, but if you like traditional bread, then the village bakery are well worth looking into.
You can buy direct from their site, from health food shops and from larger supermarkets.
3- Paper bags
In our local Co-Op and Budgens stores they sell French stick in long paper bags! Who can resist tucking into a french stick stuffed with your favourite filling? You can warm them in the oven to be served with soup or fill with garlic butter and bake for yummy garlic bread.
If your supermarket sells loose rolls then there is nothing to stop you taking in your own bags to fill.
4- support your local baker
Some traditional bakeries sell their own bread loose from the shelf. Many bakers use paper bags but if they use plastic, you could take your own bag and ask them to put your loaves in there.
Shopping locally at independent retailers can reveal many options. Our local butcher for example, sells bread from a nearby bakery and he will gladly refill your own bag. Likewise one of our closest general grocery stores sells loose rolls, and again, you can fill your own bags with them.
I’m still mastering the art of hand bread making, but in the meantime I’m taking full advantage of two modern conveniences – a bread maker kindly donated to me by a friend and packet bread mix. It’s not purist I know, but it is zero waste. And for now, I’m just happy that I’m not putting plastic bags into the landfill each week.