Friday, March 27, 2009

where does plastic reduction fit in...

There has been a lot of buzz in the organic/local/sustainable food world lately about the new White House vegetable garden. Victory cries reverberate from Food Democracy Now and Slow Food followers alike. In fact this kind of food (the organic/sustainable/local kind, a.k.a. my kind) is getting more and more mainstream.

This is a great article about just this topic from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/business/22food.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

You may or may not know this but I'm about as crazy about local/sustainable/fair food (a.k.a. Slow Food) as I am about reducing plastic. These causes are both about a better environment, so they go hand in hand, right? Well, I am becoming more and more impatient about the lack of concern from organic and sustainable food manufacturers and consumers about the non-organic non-sustainable nature of the plastic packaging that most of this food is sold in. It makes no sense to me. Why care so much about growing great environmentally conscious food and care so little about what it is packaged in?

Take this quote from the NY Times article I linked to above. “This has never been just about business,” said Gary Hirshberg, chief executive of Stonyfield Farm, the maker of organic yogurt. “We are here to change the world. We dreamt for decades of having this moment.” Hummmm...Mr. Hirshberg your entire yogurt line is sold in plastic! Is the Great Pacific Gyre’s impact on the marine ecosystem the kind of change you have been dreaming about for decades? I have found individual cups of yogurt sold in glass (Spega) at a national food chain (Whole Foods)—so I know it can be done. If Stonyfield Farm yogurt dumped the plastic, I would know ‘it’s not just about business’ and that would be a movement I could really get behind!

5 comments:

Juli said...

The thing about Stoneyfield Farms- they are the ones who originally partnered with Preserve to create the Gimme 5 recycling program that now includes Brita filters as well. Gimme 5 recycles any polypropylene item with a #5 stamped on it. So they do think about packaging. Not a perfect solution to the problem, but a step in the right direction.

plasticfreela said...

Thanx for the re-frame Juli! I know Stoneyfield is really one of the good guys out there.

Citizen Green said...

I totally agree with you. It really bugs me to go into Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and see their own brands in plastic - lots of it. I expect better of them.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I don't understand why packaging is not considered as part of organic certification. THIS should be our next big campaign! I just would have no idea how to tackle something so huge. Ideas from the gallery?

plasticfreela said...

Beth, I am with you 100%. Let's start a campaign! In my more activist moments I write letters in my head to President Obama about how he should ban all plastic in the US as his next major initiative...we may need to start smaller though. Who would we need to get in on this coalition/campaign? Who would be willing to join is probably a better question to start with?