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Solving Australia’s Plastic Packaging Problem

By October 5, 2018Latest News, Lifestyle
Plastic-free vegetables

Munch Crunch Organics is passionate about doing the best for our planet. We offer delicious, 100% Certified Organic produce grown by our network of farmers in the Northern Rivers region. Our Community Supported Agriculture model that connects consumers and farmers, and pays farmers what’s fair. All of this is delivered straight to our Munch Crunch family with plastic-free packaging to ensure that we truly do deliver the best- for people, the planet and generations to come. Living in the beautiful Byron region, we want to ensure our environmental foot-print is as small as possible, and one of the ways we ensure this is through our plastic-free packaging.

Australia’s Plastic Problem

Queensland’s recent plastic bag ban along with China’s announcement on recycling ‘bans’ has renewed conversations on responsibility surrounding the provision of single-use plastic and its waste management. While most Australian households have adapted to putting two bins out on the kerb every garbage pick up day, plastic pollution in our country continues to rise as the demand for convenience increases and so many companies choose plastic packaging as the easy solution. According to ABC’s War on Waste, Australian households create 666, 000 tonnes- yes, TONNES- of plastic packaging waste a year. So much of these plastics aren’t even able to be recycled and WWF estimates that 130,000 tonnes end up in our Australian waterways.

Not only does plastic never fully decompose, as it sits in landfill, in our parks, in fields and in the ocean, the chemicals plastics contain leach into the soil and water, poisoning the very earth we use to grow our food and the water we drink! It’s not only humans that plastic impacts: animals live in the same environments, meaning they are also poisoned by the leaching of plastics. Many are harmed by either becoming trapped in plastic products or consuming them, mistaking them for their natural food. Species already endangered by over-hunting or the destruction of their natural habitats face even more threats from plastic waste polluting the environment .

Plastic Packaging

Avoiding plastic packaging is difficult, especially in the organic world. To maintain the certification of produce, supermarkets and retailers must wrap their certified organic produce in copious amounts of plastic wrap in order to avoid cross-contamination. So while many of us are trying to give our body the best, buying Certified Organic from supermarkets means winding up with a pile of plastic packaging. Organic farming revitalises soil; how ironic that it’s then wrapped in plastic which will later poison it! Never mind the excessive plastic used to make buying conventionally-farmed produce ‘easier’ for consumers- even produce with outer layers such as onions, bananas and oranges are bagged in unnecessary plastic packaging. 

While many Aussies depend on recycling to counter their use of plastic packaging and single-use plastics, the recycling industry in Australia is currently facing significant challenges. China announced earlier this year that it would be tightening its restrictions on the kinds of recycling materials it accepts, particularly in regards to the levels of ‘contaminated’ materials (mixed or non-recyclable materials). With limited local recycling options, Australia is faced with a problem which continues to grow. While our pollies attempt to address the recycling issue, many of us are left in a lurch as to what to do with the plastic packaging we inadvertently end up with, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.

Plastic-free vegetables and fruits

Munch Crunch Organics: Eliminating the Problem

It’s obvious that recycling isn’t the answer to the impacts throwaway plastic has on our environment. The only way to really address these issues is to completely eliminate the use of single-use plastics, including plastic packaging. As we wrote last week, true sustainability considers all aspects of a community, and we don’t believe convenience is a good enough excuse to continue using something which causes so much harm. Last year we phased out our use of plastic packaging in our boxes, and earlier this year we switched from biodegradable bags for some of our produce to compostable bags. The only other packaging you will find in our boxes are rubber bands on produce like herbs and sprouts, and we’re sure you will be able to put those bands to re-use quickly! Not only do our farmers’ organic farming methods revitalise the soil, our plastic-free policies support the health of our soil as we reduce the amount of plastic which could potentially end up in our environment. We don’t believe that convenience and Certified Organic are incompatible; in fact, we are committed to be at the forefront of change to make a better, healthier world a reality. Munch Crunch Organics will always offer our customers the best of both worlds: Certified Organic produce with no plastic packaging.

Author Roisin

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Lorraine Daniels says:

    Thank you for all you are doing for the environment and future generations. I hope to see the end of single use plastic in my lifetime. I want to pass on a clean environment to my children and grandchildren.

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