Heading to your local farmer’s market or bulk food store can sometimes feel overwhelming. But the good news is, there are plenty of ways to reduce waste on your weekly supermarket trip.
Foodstuffs waste minimisation manager Francesca Goodman-Smith has some great tips and tricks for your supermarket visit.
Use BYO containers at the deli
You can bring your own clean containers into all Pak n Save and New World supermarkets in Upper and Lower Hutt. Hand your clean, leak-proof container to staff at fresh food counters in-store and receive your food back without the single use packaging.
Foodstuffs have a clear procedure and policy to ensure food safety is taken into account. The company has received positive feedback to their BYO container initiative, with Francesca saying “people think it’s a really positive move in the right direction.”
Bring your own bags (for produce too!)
Bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store reduces waste and prevents single-use paper bags from ending up in landfill. Reusable produce bags are a great alternative to the small plastic bags in the fruit and vegetable area of the supermarket.
Shop the perimeter
Avoid the aisles by shopping around the outside edges of the store. This is where most non-packaged food is found, from fruit and veges to the bakery and deli. Shopping this way also results in less processed food for you and your family.
Use a shopping list
Checking your fridge before you shop and writing a list can help avoid food waste by only buying what you need.
Choose bakery bread
Instead of bagged bread, why not try unpackaged loaves from your supermarket’s bakery area. These can be purchased in a paper bag or with your own cloth bag from home.
Check for recycling numbers 1& 2
Look for recycling numbers 1 & 2 on plastic packaging to ensure it is recyclable. Foodstuff’s supermarkets nationwide (including New World and Pak n Save stores in Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt) now use rPET plastic meat trays made from recycled type 1 plastic.
Store produce correctly at home
When bringing produce home from the supermarket, storage is key to keeping your veges fresh for longer. A study carried out by Francesca Goodman-Smith commissioned by WasteMINZ found that storing vegetables in a container lined with a paper towel greatly increased their lifespan – and guess what? Unbleached paper towels are compostable!
“If carrots were stored in the fridge, in a container with paper towels, they would last 10 times longer than those loose in the fridge”. Francesca also recommends placing a paper towel in a bag of salad leaves to keep them fresher for longer and reduce food waste.
Supermarkets are on board with reducing food waste too. New World Silverstream and Stokes Valley, and Pak’nSave Upper Hutt donate excess usable food to Kaibosh which is used to feed the local community. New World Hutt City and New World Silverstream take part in Foodstuff’s waste minimisation programme.
Small changes when shopping at the supermarket can make a big difference. Try out one of these tips on your next visit.