PLASTIC FREE JANUARY – TIP #4
Bread, it’s one of those food items most people have in their homes, whether it be a loaf of white bread, whole grain or gluten free. While flour is the common ingredient in every loaf of bread, what’s not common it the way it’s packaged. If you purchase your bread at the big brand supermarkets you’ll have noticed many of them have removed the option to purchase in paper (with a plastic see through insert) and replaced all their bread products to now be packaged in plastic. At least that’s what I noticed about six months ago at our local Coles.
Plastic Free Packaging Alternatives
Bake your own: Okay making your own loaf of bread is not going to be an option for everyone. Although a loaf of sourdough is simple enough to prepare not everyone is going to wait a day for their bread to rise and bake. It is however a great thing to try! I’m sure once you master making a loaf of bread at home, it’s unlikely you’ll eat store bought again.
A bread machine is another great option for creating a plastic free loaf. Prepare your mix, pop it in the machine and you’ll have a fresh baked loaf in a few hours.
Although both great options, not everyone has success at home baking—buying a fresh, interesting variety of bread from the bakery is a convenient option.
Buy your bread in a paper bag: The best way to avoid a plastic wrapped loaf is to purchase bread packaged in a paper bag. Most good bakeries provide paper bags for your fresh loaves. What’s also great about a paper bread bag is that it can double up as a garbage bag. If you’re composting your food scraps your household waste should be dry, and for most households a large bread bag should be big enough to contain the weekly household waste.
If you can’t fit your weekly household waste in a large paper bread bag it may be time to analyse what you’re throwing away each week. Perhaps there’s an area where you can lessen your waste. We’re not talking zero waste here, rather simple waste reduction methods (particularly plastic waste)!
Take your own cloth bread bag: If you fit into the above mentioned “zero waste” category then you’ll probably want to take your own cloth bag to the bakery when picking out your favourite loaf. There are specific bread bags on the market made from recycled PET plastic, and although it’s great to see plastic being recycled and turned into new products—remember that bag will have an end life, and the only place it will end up is in the landfill. If you’re going zero waste or plastic free the best option is a cloth bag.
A cloth bag doesn’t need to be fancy with “bread” written all over it, or made to fit a certain size loaf. It could be one you’ve hand sewed.
If you’re not into home sewing and would prefer to purchase a bag for your weekly loaf, you might perfer a multi-use washable cotton bag. We recommend the Organic Cotton Bag Mixed Set or the Organic Cotton Muslin Bags by EverEco. Both of these sets come with a set of four bags. The mixed bag set has two net bags that can be used for fruit and veggie purchases and two muslin bags that can be used when purchasing dry goods in bulk such as: flour, nuts and grains or bread!
Happy bread baking, or shopping and Happy Plastic Free January.