Shopping for loose produce has become popular again to reduce food wastage and help to halt the avalanche of plastic packaging which is damaging our planet. This way of shopping, which was commonplace until only a few decades ago, enables us to buy foodstuffs and other household products by weight and without packaging, and has become a mainstay of the global zero-waste movement.
Supermarkets are packed with throw-away packaging, and so our our mountains and oceans.
We are accustomed to seeing polystyrene trays, PET bottles, tetrabriks and plastic packaging littering the landscape: according to a scientific study published in 2018 by Nature magazine, there are 87,000 tons of trash floating in the waters of the Pacific alone.
Most of this waste originates on dry land. Our cities generate more than 2 billion tonnes of solid waste every year, a figure that may grow by 70% by 2050 according to a World Bank report published in 2018. The report warns that at least 33% of all this waste is not treated safely for the environment and that 12% of the total consists of plastic waste.