Greenwashing is a phrase I’ve because increasingly aware of in the last month or so. I my mind it is a cynical consequence of the interaction of big business and ecological concerns. I visit various Supermarkets on occasions often to check our prices are competitive. I’ve seen quite a few examples of Greenwashing. This is just one. I’ll not name the Supermarket as that would be underhanded and counterproductive. But they are all in on the act.
Mixed Peppers are a relatively light weight product used frequently in our recipes. They are commercially grown throughout the country with YFS (Yorkshire Farm Salads) near Selby being the nearest grower to my knowledge. In the Supermarket in question a plastic packed selection of three mixed Pepper is £1 while an individual unpacked Pepper taken from the cardboard delivery try is £0.55. So you are paying £0.65 extra for the privileged of not having plastic packaging. I can see no logistics reason why it would be so much more costly for them to handle trays of Pepper without the packaging as opposed to trays which have been packaged. Indeed there must be a cost element in running them through the packing process. So why are they so much more expensive?
I gut instinct is that the additional cost is simply because there is a growing demand for unpackaged goods and the big supermarkets are just cashing in. In my experience the wholesale cost is about 10% higher for the packaged version, so in this case I don’t think I am unnecessarily creating conspiracy theories. I’m not a great fan of the Supermarkets but we all use them on occasions I guess. So perhaps a little consumer pressure may do the trick. I have heard of a lady who unpacks everything she can at the checkout and leaves the plastic for the cashier to deal with. Perhaps a little extreme, but it will certainly slow things down and make a very visible point. I’m not advocating such direct action but I’m pretty sure if public pressure is directed at the Supermarkets this underhanded practise will cease given time.