Do those bananas really need to be put in a plastic bag?

By Brittney Whipple

Bananas, onions, apples, and cucumbers are just a few items commonly found in the produce section of the grocery store. Also seen in the produce section: rolls of plastic produce bags. Often, I see shoppers put bunches of bananas- or even just a single apple!- in a plastic produce bag.

The plastic bag certainly would not protect the produce against bruising. It would also not keep the produce clean, as it has already been exposed to the public and should be washed anyway. So why are we bagging these items, just to be bagged again at checkout?

So larger items, such as bananas and apples, don’t need a bag, but what about smaller produce? By “smaller” I mean things such as green beans, brussel sprouts, and creamer potatoes. Certainly you’re not going to place a handful of green beans straight into your cart, but have you considered bringing a reusable bag just for this purpose? Even reusing plastic bags for this purpose would be a smart way to reduce waste.

Everyone is human, and sometimes we forget to put our reusable bags in the car before a shopping trip. The habit of remembering our bags is one that surely should be developed, but in a world obsessed with manufacturing plastic blame can’t really be placed on the consumer, and plastic waste is not something the consumer can avoid completely. However, there are little things we can do to control our personal plastic waste.

Simply put, we encourage you to be mindful when picking out produce and think twice before you bag it. By noticing things about our habits that we haven't before, we can better understand how to be less wasteful.