Campaign - Focus on the Banana

Author: Rachel  Date Posted:1 October 2019 

How to get the supermarket giants on board with #PlasticFreeProduce... We live in a climate where supermarkets prepack fresh produce in polystyrene trays and plastic wrap, often charging less for it than the unwrapped equivalent. Customers put one piece of fruit in a single-use plastic produce bag. This has to stop.

Plastc free produce - no bag needed. Bananas

 

FOCUS ON THE BANANA

Okay eco-warriors, here’s how we change mindsets about plastic overuse...

Someone I once worked with used to say ‘focus on the banana’. There’s more to that story, but the phrase came to mind when I read a recent blog post about bananas in plastic produce bags, and I got a flash of inspiration. So here’s the long version of how we save the world from single-use plastic... starting with bananas!

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Many of those already in the Instagram eco space, and especially the #PlasticFree and #PlasticFreeProduce space, will already be familiar with Anita Horan - aka @anitafromaustralia. Such an eco-warrior is she, Aldi recognised her as an influencer in this space and invited her to their supplier forum; Building Sustainable Partnerships: ALDI, Good Different.

It was her blog on her attendance at this event - My Peek Behind the ALDI Supermarket Plastic Curtain which you can read here -  that got me thinking about the everyday actions we all can take to drive the change we want to see.

ALDI has committed to cutting at least a quarter of all plastic packaging from its range by 2025. It’s a start, but I think they can do better with a little help from people-power. And if we can make Aldi do it, you can betcha Coles and Woolies will be watching! And then the rest will follow…

 

SO HERE'S MY CAMPAIGN IDEA...

In her blog, Anita said we only need about 5% of the population, widely distributed, to support a major social shift - for the supermarkets to take notice - for our attitude to plastic packaging to change.

“My voice only holds power if you show publicly that you support me. One loud voice echoed by 5% of the population… we’ve got this,” Anita says in her blog.

So eco-warriors, we need to show these big supermarket chains that Anita has (at least) 5% of the population behind her and make #PlasticFreeProduce happen!

That’s where we start.

So as not to dilute our efforts, let’s FOCUS ON THE BANANA! And let’s focus on Aldi, since they have made ripples of change, and indicated they would be open to further, albeit it slooow, improvements.

 

WHAT TO DO?

Plastic Free Produce Social Media Campaign - Focus on the BananaSTEP 1. As with Anita’s experiment (it’s in the blog linked above, go on, read it), let’s try and get at least one eco-warrior in as many Aldi stores as possible across the country removing the plastic bag rolls by the bananas and replacing that space with a sign stating ‘NO BAG NEEDED’ and a hashtag footnote #PlasticFreeProduce.

STEP 2. Take a photo of your efforts.

STEP 3. Post your photo to Instagram (and/or Twitter, Facebook) using the hashtags #PlasticFreeProduce and #AldiEcoBandit to make it easy for the Aldi peeps (and Coles and Woolies peeps) to see the impact. Don’t forget to #AldiLocation as well, so they can see we are EVERYWHERE.

I’ve no doubt, if enough of us do this, it will propel Aldi to make that one small change Anita was asking for - stop bagging bananas. Show Aldi we don't need plastic bags at the bananas. Remove them. Just as consumers have been trained to bag them, we can be trained to unbag them! This will then have flow-on effects throughout the rest of the produce department.

 

THEN WHAT?

Once Aldi makes that change, don’t think Coles and Woolies won’t be watching and know that they will be next. Hopefully they will be progressive enough to make the change on their own! And then… we take over the world!

Well, we focus on other unnecessary plastics, anyway.

When I first did it, I had to leave the roll behind (see photo). I couldn’t quite reach (I’m short). Plus, as I was trying to be stealthy, my 3yo was in the trolley yelling out – “What are you doing, mum? Why are you putting that there, mum?” Thanks, baby!

However, I think it was effective. I loitered around as long as I could without looking conspicuous. In that time only one person came to get bananas. She looked at the bags, looked at the sign, looked at the bananas, looked back at them all again, brow knitted in thought, and finally, shrugged her shoulders, picked up a bunch of bananas and put them straight in her trolley. I was chuffed! One plastic bag saved! Hooray!

 

LET’S DO THIS!

So GO eco-warriors! Make your own sign. It can be as simple as texta on a paper bag. Or you can print out the one I used here. Just print two, stick the sides together and you have a pocket sign to go over the roll holder. Or put your sign over the bags, or stick it to the bag holder as I have in the image. Whatever you think will be effective!

LET’S DO THIS! And we’ll educate others along the way! Share, repost, retweet, make your own blog, get your friends on board. Be the change you want to see!

Let’s make #PlasticFreeProduce happen. Together we are loud and strong.

You can read about Aldi’s commitment here

Follow Reusable Planet on Instagram @ReusablePlanet to keep track of this campaign, or leave your ideas and successes in the comments below.

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WHO, WHAT & WHY?

Who am I? I started recycling and banning companies with poor corporate responsibility and sustainability practices way before it was cool.

I don’t know what that means, but a long time ago. I’m old (ish).

For the sake of the Millenials, before the internet and social media (yes, there was a time), there wasn’t really a way for the average Joe to make much difference beyond their own sphere of influence; we were restricted to family, friends, school and work mates. And I definitely used to nag and cajole my little sphere to be more aware, for sure.

Since the internet, however, we have so much information at our fingertips (not all of it real or genuine, unfortunately), and the opportunity to reach many more people from our lounge rooms than those of us growing up in the last century would ever have thought possible.

But as I feverishly researched, the more I learnt and delved the more despondent and overwhelmed I became. There was so much wrong with the world. I wanted to change everything. The greenhouse effect (now known as Climate Change), polystyrene use, genetically modified food, normalisation of prescription drugs and antibiotics, lies in advertising, corruption in politics… on and on.

Where to start? If only everyone knew what I knew...

But as the new century wore on most people were too busy taking selfies and following the Kardashian’s to really care, anyway.

So I blogged, and I signed online petitions, and I stopped eating KFC and McDonald’s, and I took my plastic water bottles off planes with me to recycle because the airlines didn’t, and I talked to people, and I ranted a lot, and I did a whole bunch of little things like that, hoping it would make a difference.

 

Fast way forward >>>>>>

This year I left my corporate job to focus on doing something I really cared about - the planet faces a dark future if we don’t reign in our overuse of plastic - and Reusable Planet is my tool to channel my passion for at least this one thing. I can do something I hope is making a difference, and bonus, I may even be able to earn a living off it one day... much more satisfying that sitting at someone else’s desk for way more than the hours paid, underappreciated and not really making a difference - not to anything that matters, anyway.

I feel that now we are on the cusp of a revolution. An eco-revolution. The REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE message is much more mainstream. Greta Thunberg is almost as popular as the Kardashians. Along with concerns over global warming, the consequences of overuse of plastic is also becoming front and centre within this revolution.

But it’s still very much overwhelming. So much to do, such a short time to do it in. So many messages to get out.

And that’s where the bananas come in. You have to start somewhere. If we can stop bananas going in plastic bags, we can stop plastic for other produce, and then we can stop other unnecessary plastic use. Like those little plastic thingies that attach tags to clothes. Grrrrrgh - hate those things!

Follow Reusable Planet on Instagram @ReusablePlanet to keep track of this campaign, or leave your ideas and successes in the comments below.

Cheers! Rachel


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