Time to rethink grocery shopping

The letter by Not So Rosy on “Bad apples shed light on bad business practice” published in the Bulletin on September 26 has got me thinking about how dependent we are on plastic in general.

I don’t believe that all supermarkets use plastic wrappers to hide fruits and vegetables that are way past their shelf lives. However, I do agree with the writer that the packaging prevents consumers from ascertaining the freshness of the produce. We have no choice but to take the leap of faith and trust that the supermarkets have our best interest at heart.

Sadly for the writer, it wasn’t the case.

Perhaps it’s time for us to rethink how grocery should be done. Back when plastic wasn’t as prevalent and people still depended on markets for grocery, vendors were more than happy to have their customers inspect the goods before purchasing. There was a direct relationship between the seller and the buyer. These days, we go to a supermarket to get our essentials.

The only people we would meet are fellow shoppers and supermarket employees. These workers have no stake in our satisfaction; they are there to perform the tasks given. If we so much as attempted to break open the packaging to examine the produce, they would make sure to stop us in time, because after all, it’s against the policy and it’s their job to make sure we know that.

I do applaud the authorities for implementing the no-plastic-bag mandate because it is a step in the right direction. Plastic pollution is a pressing issue around the world, and as consumers, we do need to take responsibility for our contribution to the mounting plastic articles that are contaminating the environment. However, we alone can’t effect much change. There are only so many beach clean-ups we can carry out before it dawns on us that it takes concerted efforts to solve the predicament.

It is therefore in this letter that I would like to appeal to supermarkets and convenience stores to lessen the use of plastic in the packaging, and for consumers to demand less reliance on the pollutant in the presentation of goods.

Nature Lover