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How to choose between plastic-free and organic...
May 20, 2012 - 8:04 am

I’m so frustrated.  For years now, maybe decades even, I’ve shopped with packaging in mind. But more and more, packaging is changing towards plastic, not away from it!! I used to choose mayonnaise by the glass container vs. plastic, but they are all plastic now, except some that cost an arm and a leg. I’ve been trying to buy organic and plastic free for a long time and it’s becoming harder and harder. It is a conundrum, and a contradiction, to find so much that is organic – vegetables, sugar, meats, other foods and household products – wrapped or contained in so much plastic. Plastic usage is only increasing, and making it more difficult to shop with the goal of avoiding synthetic chemicals and petroleum products (plastics, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides).  It is ironic that I have to choose between avoiding the petrochemicals of plastics and the petrochemicals of non-“organic” synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.  The prime example: Organic sugar comes in plastic bags. Regular pesticide laden refined white sugar comes in paper. Aargh!  At Wegmans, each organic green pepper is individually wrapped in plastic!!! WHY!  I finally found some yogurt in glass.  Wholesome Dairy Farms in Yellow House, PA.

Enough ranting about that. Now I have to find non-plastic presents for 2 first graders birthday parties. I won’t go to Walmart!

Beth Terry
409 Posts
May 20, 2012 - 10:59 am

Thanks for the rant!  The only solution is for all of us to contact companies and write to them incessantly about their packaging.  Organic food does not belong in plastic packaging. That is for sure!

Giving it a go
July 1, 2012 - 12:51 am

Our “health” food shop is like a plastic paradise.  Pretty much everything is in plastic.  Food covered in chemicals, or packaged in chemicals?  That´s most often the choice.  How can soil association let it through their tests when it´s packaged in plastic?  I would write, but my writing skills aren´t great, it would take me hours & even then sound like a child had wrote it!  Then I´d have to reply again when they responded.  I´m never sure how I´m gunna pay the rent one month to the next, so I don´t always have the head space for sending letters when I´m worried about money…. 

Beth Terry
409 Posts
July 1, 2012 - 9:42 am

Hi.  I’m reading your writing right now, and it sounds perfect to me.  The best letters are very simple and direct to to the point.  Does the store have a feedback card you can fill out?  Why not try something like that?  Sometimes, the hardest part of doing something is thinking about it.  Actually sitting down and writing a couple of lines might not take as long as you think.  I totally hear your frustration.

Giving it a go
July 5, 2012 - 1:04 am

I live in Portugal, so it´s not so easy (hiding under a different name here as really need to rant! Yet to do it though, to much ranting to be done!) 

I can´t really blame the store, they import pretty much everything & it´s really tough here as it is. I´m surprised they even manage to stay open.

Though, actually loads of this stuff comes from the UK soil association…. So I could write direct.  That would have more impact anyway if they took it on. 1

Actually I wrote a letter yesterday to the RSPB about a forth coming huge complex.  The guy who started the petition said it was stunning!  So maybe I´m not so bad after all.  Thanks for the vote of confidence. 

October 28, 2012 - 6:53 pm

I gave up eating sugar.. Not organic sugar is can be GMO:( I buy organic dates  10 lb boxes no plastic packaging or may be only tape. When I am going to buy next time, I will ask what kind of tape they use.

Also I gave up eating mayonnaise, dressings…  I make my own dressing from organic nuts/seeds.

April 24, 2013 - 8:26 am

The other problem, to add to having to choose between organic and plastic-encased, is the financial factor.  It’s all so expensive!  I want to bake today, but need more sugar. At my Whole Foods, bulk sugar is not organic. And it’s very expensive. At Costco, it’s a good price, about $1.20/lb. but it’s in a plastic bag.

: (    I can’t even find any organic sugar at any price in non-plastic packaging.

 The problem of the day is: The Spring package of School Pictures. Lifetouch automatically sends each child home with a package of pictures, etc. that you can choose from, buy it if you want, send it back in to the school if you don’t want it. The problem is that they include a plastic sheet of things with the kid’s picture on, like the keychain picture, a ruler, a little credit card calendar, etc.  I’ve been on the phone, and can’t opt out, apparently, if my second grader gets her picture taken. It’s tough on the kids to have to “be different”.

Beth Terry
409 Posts
May 8, 2013 - 7:44 am

I really hate having to make the choice between plastic-free and organic. How ironic are organic foods in plastic packaging?Would you be willing to write to the organic sugar companies to voice your complaint? If you will post your letter here, I’m sure others will join you.

The school pictures dilemma is another one I have heard about from other moms. I think it’s a matter of getting enough parents to complain to the school and to the photography company. If they hear from enough people, perhaps they will change the practice.

May 30, 2013 - 11:43 am

I would try using organic agave instead of sugar. It is available online in glass. I use it (in plastic currently) in baking recipes. If it calls for 1 cup, then I use 1/2 cup of agave. It is lower on the glycemic index too! I DON’T recommend using it in drinks. It tastes different.

July 29, 2013 - 1:38 pm

I am frustrated with this too. I love to support local family farms. We don’t eat a lot of meat in my family, but when we do, it is always local/organic/grass-fed. I love to have a relationship with the farmers and know that the animals were given access to pastures. I contacted the farm I usually buy from to see if they can package the meat in anything other than plastic. He said he is at the mercy of his processor, who is unable to do so. So I went to the biggest farmer’s market in Chicago over the weekend, and I talked to every meat vendor there. Everyone told me the same thing–that they only have it in plastic. One told me they might be able to figure something out if I buy half a cow or something huge like that, but I don’t want half a cow because we don’t eat lots of meat. So now I have to choose between supporting the farmers that I want to support vs buying from the meat counter. It’s an ethical dilemma.

July 29, 2013 - 1:54 pm
You presented false dilemma fallacy with only two options. Did you consider go vegan or vegetarian for the third option?
July 29, 2013 - 2:04 pm

I actually have tried going vegan and vegetarian, and neither was the right choice for me and my health. I know there are others who would disagree with my choice, but, without going into further detail, it is the right one for me. I do not have an ethical dilemma with eating animals if they are treated in a humane way and grazed on grass.

Are you Eco Peaceful on Etsy? If so, I just received a purchase from you today! :) I was very impressed with your packaging.

July 29, 2013 - 8:57 pm


Yes, that is me on Etsy. Glad you like my packaging!
I am expanding my products line beyond our one product – nut milk bag – to other Eco Peaceful products made from organic cotton and hemp in the next few weeks. Smile

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