What's it all about?
Vegetables and fruit are often wrapped in plastic. Thin plastic foil made of polyethylene is supposed to protect fruit and vegetables from dirt and moist. In addition, organic vegetables and fruit are often packaged in supermarkets to be able to distinguish them from conventional produce.
What is the problem?
Fruit and vegetables do not need plastic packaging because their peel forms a natural protection. With 226.5kg per capita, Germany ranks first in Europe - in terms of packaging waste (Umweltbundesamt 2019). A lot of packaging leads to a lot of waste. This may be sorted, but only 15.6% of plastic waste is processed into so-called recyclate. Worldwide, the figure is not even 10%. A large part of plastic packaging is incinerated or exported abroad. There, it may end up in illegal landfills or in the environment (Heinrich Böll Foundation 2019) and decomposes into small pieces of plastic - microplastics.
What can I do?
Buy fruit and vegetables without packaging whenever possible. Farmer's markets and zero waste shops are a good and often inexpensive way to buy fruit and vegetables in bulk. Bring your own packaging and bags to avoid unnecessary waste.