What Supermarkets Should Do To Help Our Planet
Supermarkets serve as an intermediate between the producer and the final customer. Supermarkets are centers of local goods distribution and they form the way of how goods and products will be distributed in the future. Their marketing strategies define how we see distribution, consumption and how we form our consuming habits.
Although supermarkets are very handy and suitable for our life tempo, there’s something that makes them one of the biggest threats for the environment. The thing is that humanity doesn’t think about the consequences of its consumption habits. Regular customer doesn’t think where a used plastic bottle or disposal bag will end up or how his nutrition habits change our world for the worse.
Supermarkets, from their side, worsen the situation by implementing and offering cheap or free disposable packaging made of low-quality and hazardous plastic. Now, almost any product is wrapped in disposable and unnecessary plastic packaging. We buy milk and beverages predominantly in plastic bottles, carry and store our greens and fruits in plastic packages, cheeses, hams, meat and many other products are wrapped in food film and enormous amounts of tinfoil and dense plastic containers are being thrown away after the purchase.
Environmentally-friendly stores are rare in today’s economy because our accustomed and long-used consumption model doesn’t leave a place for new distribution patterns leaving eco-friendly shopping off-board. The only widely-implemented green innovation is environmentally-friendly shopping bags, or shortly – shoppers.
But such packaging is very handy considering the modern life tempo. We don’t even have time to think about our consumption behavior. We buy pre-packaged products or semi-finished foods to save time. Thanks to the supermarkets we can buy varied products and throw away single-use packaging without thinking about the consequences.
If only people knew how such consumption behavior harms and destroys our nature things would change forever. Wide masses are low-educated about the harmfulness and contaminating nature of plastic. Billions of disposable bags and bottles are released into the environment annually causing irreversible damage and contamination of the planet.
Oceans are polluted with trash. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch had been formed during the past decades occupying the area three times bigger than France. Marine animals getting trapped in the used fishing nets, six-pack holders, plastic bags and other rubbish.
Giant landfills release vast amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases – a chemical gas that is twenty-five times more dangerous than CO2 itself. Soil is contaminated to a depth from one to ten meters. Emitted plastic bags and other rubbish will decompose for centuries if not thousands of years. The worst and the most ridiculous part of it comes with the realization that all that contamination and irreversible harm could have been avoided. Mass economy and the production of cheap and low-quality goods provided such a wide usage of disposable items. If we will look a little bit deeper than usually we will see that mass customers can do without disposable items and packaging.
Disposable bags, bottles, packages and other «free» items aren’t necessary. People can carry their own reusable bags and shoppers or use their own reusable cups and bottles. A great example of rational consumption could be witnessed in the milkman’s work. He drives from street to street collecting used glass bottles and replacing them with refilled ones. Although milk isn’t the most ecologically-friendly product, the point is that humanity can do without disposable bottles.
Unfortunately, our economy develops in the wrong direction producing cheap, low-quality and affordable products neglecting the quality and sustainability of the environment. People who care about the environment and tend to go for groceries with their own reusable bags and containers are perceived as outsiders and marginal persons.
Most people don’t understand why we should care and waste our time to find a way of how to avoid excessive disposable packaging. Plus to that, most supermarkets offer free disposable bags and packages so people could carry and store their foods with them. One thing people rarely know – the cost of all these «free» packages is included in the products’ cost.
People who care about the environment and try to implement some small steps to lower their carbon footprint and nature’s contamination, know that it is very easy to live an eco-friendly and low-waste life.
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