Why plastic free? Well, we know that plastic has it's place in our lives. The reality is that life would be pretty tricky without it. Think about how many items you use, or wear or come into contact with daily that contain, or are entirely made of, plastic. There's no escaping the fact that we've become very much dependant upon it. But single use plastic, particularly on fresh fruit and vegetables, is not the necessity that it used to be. A lot has changed and continues to change in the world of fresh produce, and most of it for the better and for the benefit of consumers. Varieties are continuously bred with increased shelf life characteristics, as well as other important attributes such as taste, and disease and pest resistance.
The main reason we see so much plastic on the supermarket shelves is down to one thing: profit. Nothing against the supermarkets here, they are businesses like any other at the end of the day and exist to make a profit for shareholders. But their shear size and scale means it's impossible for them to accurately forecast sales of perishable fruit & vegetables to within a day or two, meaning that all fresh produce has to go into store with several days shelf life, and that's on top of an already long supply chain. One of the main KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that supermarket buying teams are measured by is In-Store Waste, and the reality is that without plastic, their waste bills would be far too high. Which also brings up the flip side of the coin that is single use plastic....food waste, and how much it genuinely saves. It saves a lot, no doubt. So plastic on supermarket shelves will be around for a while yet.
Outside of the supermarket however, well we don't think it's all that necessary. If your supply chain is short enough, and your quality is good enough, fruit and vegetables can and do handle life without plastic.
So we're on a mission. Our FruutBoxes contain no single use plastic packaging, just tasty fruit & veg, paper and cardboard. Our new boxes for local deliveries are durable, returnable cardboard boxes. Made from 98% recycled material and 100% recyclable, they're good for up to 10 trips, ensuring that we minimise our cardboard waste too. Just leave them out on your next delivery day and we'll collect them to re-use, or to recycle once their work is done.
But it doesn't stop with what the customer sees, our aim is to ensure that everything that arrives into us to pack for our customers, arrives without plastic. Not an easy task in an industry that is now so dependent on the cheap, shelf life enhancing properties of plastic, and it's not helped at the moment with the current Covid-19 situation limiting availability of products in the formats that we request. But it is a task that we have taken on nonetheless, and we are continuing our work to remove it completely from the products that we source. As FruutBox gains momentum, and things return to something resembling normality after the Covid-19 pandemic, we'll be able to work direct with growers around the world to remove plastic packaging from our supply chain and deliver a truly plastic free FruutBox. In the meantime we'll be recycling any plastic packaging that we receive from our suppliers of fruit and veg.