What packaging do we use at Shillingford Organics?
We will only use packaging where it is necessary to prevent food waste. Where possible, we will put loose vegetables directly into your veg box. You can also buy loose vegetables from our Farmers’ Market Stall in Exeter and from the honesty stall at the farm. We encourage you to bring along your own re-usable bags when shopping at the market.
If appropriate we will always use a paper bag rather than a plastic bag. This works well for dry produce that does not wilt easily e.g. for beans, peas, tomatoes, Brussel Sprouts and potatoes.
We use plastic bags for greens including kales, chards and salads. These keep greens from wilting, minimising food waste and keeping your produce fresher for longer.
We are concerned about disposable plastics but at the moment there is no sustainable alternative solution. So why have we decided not to switch to biodegradable plastic or to use paper bags for everything?
Biodegradable plastics take a long time to break down, often beyond the cycle of a home composting system. This means you will be left with lots of bit of plastic in your compost. And if you put biodegradable plastic in a municipal food waste collection, councils remove it because they cannot distinguish between biodegradable and normal plastics.
Biodegradable plastics require a lot of energy to make a product which ultimately is not designed to last. This is a wasteful use of resources which could be better spent making reusable materials.
Paper bags have a much higher carbon footprint than plastic bags. They require lots of energy to make and they do not keep greens as fresh as plastic bags resulting in higher food waste.
How should I dispose of the plastic bags?
Did you know that our plastic bags can be recycled? If you live within the Exeter City Council area, these can be put into your kerbside green bin collection. This includes the polyprop bags that we use for salads and herbs and the polythene bags that we use for kales/greens. These are sorted at the recycling centre, packed into bundles and sold to re-make similar plastic products.
We cannot reuse plastic bags on the farm for food hygiene reasons. But please do wash the bags and reuse them at home. They are ideal for keeping produce fresh in the fridge. And if you shop at our farmers’ market stall, you can bring them back week after week.