Grocery Shopping: A Concealed Environmental Disaster

Studies show that US households made an average of 1.6 shopping trips per week but due to the pandemic, many have limited going outside and instead, have prefered ordering online. As life slowly transitions back to normal, countless people want to go back to in-person grocery shopping However the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has other plans, stating that shopping online is better for the planet. The question is, how would grocery shopping be damaging to the environment?

How does grocery shopping affect the environment?

  • Groceries consist primarily of perishable goods like vegetables, dry fruits, dairy products, etc. which all go to waste if not sold within a limited time. Approximately 30% of food is thrown away in American stores, which is sixteen billion pounds of food waste every year. Overbuying and overproduction are also reasons for food waste.

Another source of worry is due to the number of packaging groceries have is plastic. In 2019, “10 of the biggest UK supermarkets put 896,853 tonnes of plastic packaging on the market”, which created 57 bags in each household. An average North American uses two hundred and twenty pounds of plastic each year but only 8.7% of Americans recycle.

How can we change the way we shop?

  • You can start by using a reusable produce bag. Plastic takes around a thousand years to degrade, and using a reusable bag would be much better for the environment.
  • Giving up gum would also help since gum is rubber, another form of plastic.
  • You can also pack your lunch in reusable containers.
  • Buying boxes instead of bottles that are recycled is also helpful for the environment.

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