Monday, September 30, 2013

Organic shouldn't be in plastic

Organic produce wrapped in plastic.
Organic produce wrapped in plastic.
Why do the big Swiss supermarket chains COOP and Migros wrap their expensive organic vegetables in plastic packages, while their cheaper chemical-laden varieties remain unwrapped and dry? We pay a premium for the "bio" label, so why are we made to accept vegetables that have been sweating and decomposing at a faster rate in plastic?

Example of an organic sticker.
Doing some internet research, I found a letter from a consumer to Migros asking why the supermarket chain sells its organic zucchinis and eggplants in tough plastic wrappers. Representatives at Migros replied saying that they do so to satisfy consumers, who want to make sure that what they are really buying  is "bio" and to avoid the threat of contamination during transportation.
A band around produce.

But according to the initial questioner, Swiss law concerning organic packaging prohibits packaging made out of "PVC or other chlorinated plastics." I wonder if that plastic packaging is biodegradable, or are we on to something?

Plastic wraps are simply not ecological. In the USA I've seen organic fruits and vegetables with stickers or cardboard/paper bands. Some will argue that there are chemicals in the glue that hold the stickers to the produce. And they are a pain to take off and deal with once they are in the compost, but somehow I think these are a better choice.

Also noted: the cheaper non-organic tea bags at Migros are sold loose in one cardboard box, unlike the organic variety which are individually wrapped.

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