Why we use these bags for our online wholefood orders.
At Affordable wholefoods we are often questioned as to why we use the resealable plastic bag packaging that we do.
Is there a more sustainable alternative?
We are very conscious of the environment at Affordable Wholefoods and have investigated to the best of our ability every avenue in order to find the best packaging for online wholefood deliveries.
Based on our research, this is what we have learned about the current forms of packaging available to us:
- Foil resealable bags such as coffee bags are lined with plastic. This foil/plastic composite is NOT recyclable as there is currently no way to separate the foil from the plastic. These bags are considered to be contaminated and therefore go into landfill.
- Brown (Kraft) paper resealable bags that are lined with foil only are also a composite bag which are currently NOT recyclable as there is no way to separate the foil from the brown paper. These bags are considered to be contaminated and therefore go into landfill.
- Brown (Kraft) paper resealable bags that are lined with foil and plastic are also considered contaminated as there is currently no way of separating the three components. They too go into landfill.
Each of the above bags do keep the product fresh, however they are NOT recyclable.
- Paper bags with a cellulose, cellophane or corn starch lining or window do not keep wholefoods fresh and lead to food spoiling very quickly. Whilst they are considered recyclable, our tests show that wholefoods can be stale, dry or easily infested by pests even as early as the first 24 hours after packing. You must also determine that the clear lining /window is actually cellophane and not plastic as is sometimes the case.
- Bio-degradable plastic bags are deceiving in their effect on the environment as they have now been found to break down into micro plastic particles that are proven to be a very harmful form of plastic pollution. Micro plastics inevitably end up in the food chain thus having potential negative effects on all wildlife including humans.
- Compostable bags are currently not made in a resealable form and from our experience are not always strong enough to withstand the rigors of the postage/courier system. In the past these bags have burst which apart from the waste of food, is also very messy. This is both disappointing for the customer and for ourselves.
- Soft plastic zip lock bags are reusable and recyclable as they are made from a single virgin product and are considered uncontaminated. They are also very strong and keep wholefoods fresh for long periods of time. This is why we currently use these bags for our packaging.
NOTE: Many council collection depots around Australia are receiving uncontaminated soft plastics for recycling (as is the bags used by Affordable Wholefoods). In order to make these bags recyclable, it is important that consumers stockpile their ‘clean dry’ soft plastics into a sealed plastic bag which can be placed in the recycling bin. If they are wet, or contaminated with product, they will go into landfill.
We encourage that you check with your local council to see what their requirements are for the recycling of soft plastics.
Our choice of packaging is what we feel is the best option at this stage with respect to the farmer, the wholefoods, yourself and the planet.
Affordable Wholefoods will continue to look out for more sustainable packaging alternatives for your wholefoods as they become available.