Our lifestyle, for the vast majority of us in the U.S., demands the convenience of packaging. This dependence on convenient packaging is only growing as we live more of our daily lives on the go, and we look to light-weight, sturdy, sealed, hassle-free packaging (think plastic) to transport our food with us. And when we do eat at home, many of us are often too time-pressed or too tired to prepare a meal from scratch, so we turn to pre-prepared, packaged foods.
At the same time, many of us are literally feeling the effects of too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. We are worried, individually and collectively about the impact on our health, and, for some, even our survival as a species.
There is an uncomfortable, unrelenting tension between what we think we need, which translates into producing 300 million tons of virgin plastic feedstock every year, and the price we are paying in terms of the unsustainable levels of pollution we are generating, to live the way we do.
Recycling is not working nearly as effectively as it could or should. And while packaged food manufacturers have started to invest in alternative, more eco-friendly packaging to plastic, the fact is that the plastics industry is planning to make more food and beverage plastic packaging for years to come. Another, or parallel solution is for us consumers to just not ask for, or use as much disposable packaging. That is mostly what the zero waste movement is about.
This episode focuses on two zero waste shopping approaches. First, I talk to owners of two zero waste stores that have opened in the last year; Stephanie Lentz of Scoop Marketplace in Seattle, and Lea Rainey at Roots Zero Waste in Garden City, Idaho. Nothing is pre-packaged or branded in these stores. You bring your own containers, or pay to use the store's.
I also speak with Ben Weir, from Loop, a start-up that is testing a model where you and I can buy products in non-disposable, durable packaging that we send back to Loop for them to reuse when we've used up all the product.
01/01/20 • 45 min
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JJ (Team Goodpods)
I wonder what Covid does to this idea of zero waste shopping which requires shopping from bins...
What are we going to do with all this plastic food and beverage packaging?
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