In July 2020, Vermont’s ban on single-use plastics will take effect.
The law prohibits retailers, such as grocery stores and box stores, from providing to customers single-use plastic bags and plastic stirrers, as well as cups, take-out or other containers made from polystyrene.
The law does not apply to the smaller plastic bags that are available in grocery stores for loose fruits and vegetables. That’s where you can resolve to take the single-use ban to the next level.
Whether you are just starting a multi-use bag collection or they are a regular part of your shopping, consider adding mesh produce bags to the routine.
Expect to pay about $10 for a set of 15, multi-sized mesh bags. They are light and washable.
Another option for your routine is to use “green bags” that help fruits and vegetables last longer. They are designed to capture the gases that cause produce to rot. While green bags are plastic bags, they are meant for multi-use, and they will function properly for a long time.
Transfer your produce from your mesh bags to green bags when you get home from the grocery store, and store them in the produce drawer of our fridge.
Another way to modify single-use plastic use in your life is to consider how and why sandwich bags and zip bags fit into your routine. If they are a convenient on-the-go lunch or storage option, it’s possible to migrate to glass alternatives. Small (4 oz.) mason jars work great for packing lunch-time snacks for school or work. Expect to pay $0.50 — $1 for each jar, depending on how many you purchase at once and where you buy them. Check to make sure they have stainless steel lids for long-term durability.
Glass jars and containers are also good options for your at-home food storage. They come in a wide range of sizes these days, but they are an investment, so plan to build your collection over time.
There are two bonus benefits of glass food storage. First, your refrigerator will appear lighter and less crowded. Second, you will be able to see your leftovers easier, so you are less likely to forget what you have.