Recycling Week kicks off today and recyclable packaging is an area you have told us you interested in and have questions on.
To mark the week, we put your most commonly asked question about recycling and packaging to our Environment Manager, Iain Ferguson.
Why is there ‘unnecessary’ packaging on some of our fruit and vegetables?
Fresher and tastier for longer
“Contrary to common perception, perishable goods last longer in packaging. Although fruit and veg sweat more in some plastic packaging, they dry out much faster and last less time in paper or without any packaging at all.
The packaging is not there just for our customers to get the product home and keep it fresh in the kitchen fridge. It has to keep the food fresh from our supply chain to our customer’s homes.
If you buy your fruit and vegetables loose, make sure you check out the top tips for storage on our produce bags. We list all our commonly purchased fruit and vegetables on these bags with a tip on how to store each. Who knew that your apples live best in the fridge rather than a fruit bowl, and last two weeks longer refrigerated in their packaging rather than in that bowl.
Packaging can be extremely clever and plays a very important part in keeping food safe as well as fresh. A simple example is milk. It can be supplied pasteurised or ultra-heat treated, both processes involve heating the milk to kill bacteria. Without the packaging, that treatment wouldn’t last very long at all.
We apply similar ideas to our steaks. We put them in packs without oxygen to control the bacteria which means that the steaks last for 17 days and stay succulent. We couldn’t do that without the packaging.”
Making packaging more recyclable is a big focus for the Co-op, we’re always innovating and we recently became the first retailer to back the Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan (PIRAP).
Recycling Week is a fantastic week to celebrate and raise the profile of the huge importance of recycling. Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager
To find out more about how to keep your food fresher for longer and reduce food waste visit the Love Food, Hate Waste website.