Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Berries are one of the hardest items to find plastic free. Organic berries are even harder. Yet in some areas of the world.. cardboard baskets for berries are the norm.
It's really hard to say no to a child who is begging you for some organic strawberries. In fact, I hate to do it. That's why we prioritise getting our hands on some berries plastic free each week if we can. It's not easy though! Most supermarkets, health food shops and even local farmers markets in the UK and Australia use plastic punnets but there are some places to look.
These spots are not comprehensive but if anything, it will encourage you not to give up looking for a supplier in your area. It will also arm you with the knowledge that it's not impossible so you can discuss with your current suppliers that they should seek out non-plastic alternatives - that others are doing it and... the berries are ok!
From December 2020 all Riverford packaging is plastic free. This is HUGE and really shows the impact of individual action. Riverford is one of the most ethical food companies globally that I am aware of. The founder Guy runs a deeply ethical business and thoroughly analyses the environmental impact of all their decisions. He is incredibly knowledgeable of sustainable agriculture and has built a nationwide business that is bringing sustainable agriculture to the front door of homes across London.
When I once complained about the plastic packaging used - Guy responded personally and outlined exactly what steps they were taking to reduce plastic but maintain the integrity of their produce.
If I can give everyone a single thing to do to reduce their plastic waste and improve their health it would be order 6 x boxes from Riverford a week (for a family of 4).
So much to love about Natoora - which I'll save for a separate blog post - but safe to say you can shop with with confidence that no chemicals are used, they believe in radical seasonality and are pioneering plastic free and home compostable packaging. Located in multiple locations including Chiswick, Portobello and Fulham.
Here you'll find your berries in cute cardboard packaging that's also compostable... the only problem is that you tend to eat them all within 5 minutes of leaving.
Don't get your hopes up. It's hit and miss here in terms of packaging. However, you will find cardboard punnets occasionally - although they often have plastic film. Sometimes you'll be lucky and find in a small crate that you can then return to store.
Best day ever heading out to Garsons farm with the family. Kids get to see how their food grows and appreciate that energy is required to harvest, further supporting the principle of not wasting food.
Not just strawberries but loads of fruits and vegetables. Remember to check on their website what's ready for picking then head on out. Although not certified organic, they don't use pesticides. You'll come back with way more than you need so make sure you put aside time to make jams and freeze berries for smoothies in the future!