A US Supermarket chain has been criticised for selling pre-peeled mandarins in plastic containers. It got a lot of people talking about the amount of unnecessary packaging that covers our fresh food these days. Here’s a look at the problem and some kids who’ve found a way to help.
CARL SMITH, REPORTER: It’s something you do every day.
Open up the lunchbox, unwrap your food and throw away the packaging.
But all that waste can really start to add up.
In fact, in just one year the average Aussie throws away 200 kilograms of packaging.
Environment groups say that adds up to almost 2 million tonnes across Australia every single year.
That’s one of the reasons why people were outraged when they saw this photo from the US of a peeled mandarin in a plastic container. Many said it was really wasteful given the mandarin’s peel was already a natural packaging!
And some even posted their own examples of unnecessary packaging.
After the backlash the company took the mandarins off its shelves and even tried to have a bit of a laugh about it. But many reckon other companies are guilty of the same thing.
So some conservation groups are calling on those food companies to start thinking about the environment, above convenience, and ditch the excess packaging.
JO HENDRIKS, KESAB: I think we’ve lost our minds and that we really need to think about what we’re buying. A lot of the so called convenience food is really light stuff that can easily blow out of our bins or blow around and get washed into the waterways.
And there’s a way you can help too.
These schoolkids have made the switch to something called ‘nude food’.
KID: Nude food is a food without a wrapper, so you could put it in a reusable container.
KID: All year 5s in our school have been doing the nude food challenge, it’s where we have nude food for about 3 days and at the end of the day we go through our rubbish to see how much landfill we produce.
And there a lot of ways these guys have thought of to reduce the amount of packaging they take to school.
KID: A packet of chips, you could put it in a plastic container.
KID: Some fruits, they already have a natural wrapping, so with fruit you can just leave it or if you want to cut it up just put it in a Tupperware container.
They say everyone can help the environment by thinking a bit more about what they buy, and what it’s wrapped in.
KID: It’s good because it helps the environment
KID: It reduces landfill, so if you keep on putting it in wrappers, all the wrappers will go to landfill which is massive hole in the ground.
KID: It reduces the amount of rubbish that we have, and if that rubbish doesn’t get put in the bin it blows around and can end up in the ocean, and some animals like turtles can think it’s a jellyfish and eat that and that can be bad for their body.