One among my large targets for 2019 has been to scale back the quantity of single-use plastics I get use, in addition to finally lowering the quantity of waste we produce as a family normally. However there may be one large drawback which has been taking part in on my thoughts for a while now – free from meals are typically severely packaged.
And to make issues worse, I’m in two minds as as to whether it is a good factor or not.
The nice, the unhealthy, and the ugly
On the plus aspect, it’s actually extra reassuring to have gluten free meals in sealed packaging. This eradicated a number of the fear about cross contamination and makes the meals loads safer for somebody like myself, with coeliac illness.
There’s additionally the very fact I’m the one coeliac in the home, so generally having a field of muffins, packaged in twos, makes life simpler. That approach, for instance, I gained’t open a four-pack of muffins, eat one, after which discovered the remaining have gone stale. I can merely pluck an individually-wrapped cake from my field, eat it, and know the remaining shall be contemporary after I need them.
However as somebody attempting to chop down the quantity of plastic they use, this additionally poses a giant moral dilemma in my head. Even once we suppose we’re doing the precise factor and recycling, as we noticed on the BBC Struggle on Plastic programme final week. Usually the waste we predict we’re sending off to be recycled is being dumped in nations like Malaysia and isn’t correctly processed.
I’m positive each coeliac watching that programme final week felt a pang of guilt when each a M&S ‘Made With out Wheat’ tub was pulled from the huge mound of dumped plastic waste, which shall be both left to (extraordinarily slowly) rot, or worse burned, inflicting much more injury to the surroundings and close by communities.
So what can we as gluten free customers do? Clearly the extreme plastic packaging has its causes and we have to discover viable options to this that don’t compromise our personal well being within the course of. There must be a stability which inserts each side.
The worst plastic offenders
I don’t wish to title names at this stage, although in time I wish to contact some free from manufacturers individually to ask what they will do to enhance their efforts. Nonetheless, there are some things that REALLY bug me with regards to extreme packaging:
- Polystyrene bases on gluten free pizzas. Most manufacturers have reduce this out now, bar just a few. Polystyrene can’t be put out with my kerbside recycling. And if all the opposite manufacturers both a) don’t want it or b) use cardboard as a substitute, why will we nonetheless want polystyrene bases?
- Particular person trays inside trays. If we’re going to have trays of individually-wrapped muffins, have they got to be sat in a fair larger tray, inside a plastic field? Can we not reduce down on some of that packaging?
- Black plastic trays. I’ve been actually happy to see some meat manufacturers swapping their black plastic trays to clear or colored plastics. Black plastic is the one one which can’t be recycled in my native collections. So why are so many prepared meals nonetheless utilizing them!?
- Plastic packaging on fruit and veg. Okay I do know it’s not particularly free from however this actually does my nut. Much more so when, for instance, they bag up particular person peppers and put them in a plastic bag within the yellow sticker bin. WHY!?
I’m not the one one worrying about plastic use
I briefly mentioned this matter on my Instagram tales as a result of it’s one thing I’ve been enthusiastic about for a very long time now. So I used to be actually relieved to see numerous folks agreeing that free from meals are positively over-packaged. A number of the feedback I had had been:
“I believe it’s received extra plastic to cover the smaller potions/sizes of meals.”
“I believe it’s for cross contamination but it surely’s additionally OTT many instances.”
“100% overkill on the plastic! Approach an excessive amount of pointless packaging on gluten free meals.”
“Completely agree and sadly being gluten free, single-use plastic appears unavoidable.”
“Completely true, issues like cookies are packaged in bins, plastic trays AND cellophane wrapping.”
“Quite a lot of the packaging isn’t recyclable which sucks while you wish to do your bit.”
“Why do gluten free biscuits come wrapped in packs of two? My biscuit tin is stuffed with wrappers!”
“Sure, they in all probability want some plastic however some appear to be triple packaged which is loopy.”
“If it’s as a result of they cowl ‘cross contamination’ to overkill then it positively wants addressing.”
It goes on and on, however I wished to share a number of the above to indicate precisely how many individuals agree!
What can we do to chop down on plastic?
We are able to all do our bit to scale back our plastic consumption, gluten free or not. So three issues I shall be attempting – and reporting again on – are as follows:
- Make extra issues from scratch. There are lots of easy meals swaps we will do, gluten free or not. Choosing out unpackaged fruit and veg, taking in tubs for contemporary meat and fish merchandise, and making free from meals corresponding to bread, muffins, biscuits and cereal bars from scratch. That approach I can bundle and freeze them in re-useable containers and there shall be much less plastic waste.
- Take a re-useable water bottle and low cup with me. I’ve already began doing this and it makes me actively take into consideration the efforts I’m making. Most retailers haven’t any hesitation in filling bottles with faucet water and the extra we ask, the extra commonplace this can turn out to be. I used to be additionally kindly gifted a steel straw from The Metallic Straw Co and I take it EVERYWHERE!
- Attempting to hunt out plastic free free-from manufacturers. There are actually a small however rising quantity. And to make life a bit simpler, that leads me on to my subsequent part…
Plastic free gluten free manufacturers
So that you wish to strive some new gluten free manufacturers who don’t use numerous plastic packaging? Then why not give a few of these a go and assist these doing a great job. None of those are sponsored or endorsed, they’re simply manufacturers I both love or I’ve been advisable.
- Jubel Beer. Not solely is it my favorite beer EVER however they arrive in recyclable glass bottles and their labels are fully plastic free. As if I couldn’t love them any extra!
- Hunter & Collect. Their avocado oil mayonnaise vary is to die for and all in recyclable jars. I even have began taking their collagen peptides which are available in biodegradable packaging – a change from most closely packaged protein merchandise!
- Two Farmers Crisps. I used to be advisable these as apparently their packaging is totally compostable. It seems to be like you should buy their stuff on-line.
- Barilla pasta. Okay, there’s a tiny plastic window of their cardboard bins however other than this, this gluten free pasta is available in a field so there’s not non-recyclable baggage to chuck within the bin.
- Snact. One other one which was advisable to me – it seems to be like Snact make their treats from fruit and veg which might have in any other case of been wasted. Plus their packaging is compostable.
- Anandas Meals. I’ve raved about their gluten free and vegan wagon wheels earlier than, however they’re additionally wrapped in foil and cardboard – each recyclable. Undoubtedly strive them in the event you haven’t earlier than!
Typically talking within the grocery store, there’s a number of plastic on the free from cabinets. However I’d LOVE to listen to of any manufacturers with plastic free packaging! Drop me a remark beneath or an e mail and I can add the very best ones to this listing!
What’s going to you be doing?
I’d like to know what you’re doing to scale back your plastic consumption as a gluten free shopper. Are you able to share any suggestions or model suggestions? Drop a remark on the backside of this publish or come be part of my Fb group and share your prime suggestions in there. I’ll be including extra manufacturers to this as and after I discover any good ones so bookmark this publish and are available verify again!