A huge single-use plastic iceberg

I allow myself to question you directly. Not by provocation, but because I care about our collective future.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled a few weeks ago that, according to him, humanity has two years ahead of it to make a major change of course in environmental matters, without which ” disastrous consequences for humans and natural systems “will follow.

Two years is not long, you know it like me. Especially to make the necessary changes in ecology …

Gestures must be made. Now.

We are talking a lot about plastic straws lately. It’s good. But it’s just the tip of a huge single-use plastic iceberg that engulfs the oceans and pollutes the earth.

And to be honest, I do not find you very good with plastic …

How is it that everything is packed to excess?

Is it absolutely necessary to pack a bunch of green beans with half a roll of plastic wrap? Is it absolutely necessary to pack bananas? Oranges? To put peaches in pretty plastic containers that I will decapsulate once or twice, before depositing, intact, in my recycling bin? To use Styrofoam, a cheap but non-recyclable material that takes forever to decompose?

I admit, I have no knowledge in the field of groceries. These packages are surely made with a concern for hygiene and sanitation, or whatever.

Still, it’s not normal that every grocery store I make is worth a ton of disposable plastic … And this, even if I’m careful. As a consumer, I do not feel that my interests are represented.

Far be it from me to downplay the role of small markets, particularly those who sell bulk products. The idea is great, and the initiative is necessary. With all due respect, you should even be inspired, dear grocers.

However, let’s be clear, the majority of people do not do most of their weekly shopping. They go to big supermarkets, IGA, Metro, Super C and Maxi of this world. And, unfortunately, Drummondville is not Montreal. Opportunities are limited, and despite all the goodwill in the world, it can be difficult to avoid large food markets.

Dear grocers, you have immense power. Better: you have a responsibility.

Yes, small individual actions are important. But what good are they if institutions and businesses do nothing to help, encourage them?

I do not want to do my groceries like in the 1980s. We have evolved to the plastic, and that’s good.

Now it’s time to move on to something else. And you can play an important role in this change of course.

I suggest you put more products in bulk in your aisles. Learn about the alternatives to disposable plastic currently available. They may be more expensive at the time, I admit. However, plastic has a cost that is not limited to the numbers on a budget: it is a cost of which we do not yet know all the variables, and that is likely to be lost lives in a few years.

And stop packing the fruits and vegetables that are already naturally, name of God.