Look in your waste bin. If you’re like most of us, it’ll be full of food packaging. Sadly, it’s almost impossible to avoid plastic when shopping for groceries. Almost everything comes wrapped in it, and most of this packaging is unnecessary.

With a little thought and preparation, though, we can change that. We can celebrate supermarkets that are willing to prioritize the health of both people and the planet. Take the reusable container challenge and join the movement that is already transforming the way we shop for groceries! This could be the new normal!

Fruit and Vegetables Stall in Quiapo Market. © Greenpeace / John Novis
Plastic-Free Shopping Practices in Mangwon Market, Seoul. © Jung Park / Greenpeace
Vegetarian Aisle in Slovenia. © Mitja  Kobal / Greenpeace

The Reusable Container Challenge:

  1. You probably already know to bring your own reusable shopping bag, but if your grocery store has a salad bar, prepared food bar, self-serve selection of coffee beans, or another type of station where you or the store staff packages the products, bring some tupperware or a Bento box, too. You can use it instead of the plastic bags or boxes the store provides. There’s no need to be nervous—avoiding single-use plastics is already more mainstream than you think!
  2.  
  3. Many businesses will happily allow you to use your own container, but some might not.* For those that do, take a photo of the container showing that it’s been filled.
  4.  
  5. Share the photo all over social media, tag the establishment, tag Greenpeace, and use the hashtags #ReuseRevolution and #BreakFreeFromPlastic.
   

*Is the supermarket using fear of COVID-19 transmission as the reason not to use reusables? You can help! Share this statement with them and reassure them that reusables can be used safely by employing basic hygiene. The best way to solve the plastic pollution crisis is to implement systems that protect the health of both people and the planet—we do not need to choose between the two.

  
If a business filled your containers, thank them!
 

There’s a reason businesses say, “The customer is always right.” They want to keep you happy! So let them know that avoiding single-use packaging matters to you. Together we can make single-use packaging as antiquated as smoking in restaurants. 

Ready to do more? Ask for the store manager and tell them about your concerns. Here is a letter that you can download, modify, sign, and give to them. Even better, have your whole family sign it. 

Some resources that will help you get better informed: 

   Learn more about plastic pollution
   Learn the difference between real solutions and false ones
   Join the Plastic Free Future Facebook group and share your experience

WANT TO DO MORE?

Learn About Plastic Pollution

Plastic has found its way to the depths of our oceans, to remote forest paths, to the ice of the Arctic, and onto the island beaches where turtles nest.

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Organise a Zero Waste Event

Whether you’re planning a cozy dinner, a breezy picnic, or even a large-scale community event, use these creative ways to avoid single-use plastics.

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Support Restaurants That Choose to Reuse

Take the reusable container challenge and join the movement that is already changing the way we eat! Let’s make reusable the new normal!

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Lobby for Single-Use Ban in Your Community

One of the best ways to make change is to lobby at the local level. Your elected officials represent you so let them know what you think!

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Become a Citizen Scientist

Citizen activists are cleaning up local riverbanks, parks, and beaches and using these events to identify the companies that are polluting their hometowns.

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Empower the Next Generation of Activists

The classroom is a great place to start discussing plastic pollution and how to address it. Kids can develop their science knowledge and leadership skills, all while learning how to build a better future. Educators—you can inspire youth to change the world!

Tools for Educators