Friday, October 24, 2008

Stop the Plastic Ribbons Already

There's two new trends at my local grocer.

First, this grocer is carrying more organic produce. A lot more. Yippee! And the volume purchasing is really bringing organic produce prices down to more reasonable levels.

The second trend is that because I'm seeing organic produce migrating from the corralled-off "organic" section and now integrating in with everything else that's fresh there has emerged a new problem. The supplier is now adding plastic ribbon labeling around individual pieces of produce that says "organic."

I asked the store manager why they were doing this. I like more organic but not more non-biodegradable petro plastic. He said that customers want to know that the store isn't just saying that apple or that carrot is organic when it looks the same as the non-organic variety. An interesting comment.

Although I understand the rationale of wanting to have all appearances of organic also back up the actually organic-ness of a product, I still don't like the packaging choice. So I wrote to my grocer chain and asked that they stop doing this extra plastic labeling. If they want to add an extra paper "USDA Organic" sticker to each apple, fine. Or if they want to keep up the labor-intensive ribboning of each piece of produce with "USDA Organic" then it better be a 100%-biodegradable-in-30-days-non-petro-plastic ribbon. But NO MORE PETRO PLASTIC PLEASE.

Yes I can go to my local farmer's market on Saturday and avoid some of this packaging snafu, but I'm not always able to do that. This grocer chain has listened to me before, so I'm hopeful they will listen to me again. And, mind you, when I write in I don't tout that I'm an author or any special person other than one of their concern patrons. So I'm crossing my fingers.

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