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Real Grocer offers a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bags

Australians currently use almost four billion plastic bags every year, and only around three percent of those are recycled. That leaves the vast majority to end up in landfill, or among the 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste that finds its way into our oceans every year.

Single-use plastic bags were banned in Tasmania in 20031, South Australia in 20091, the Northern Territory and ACT in 20131, and in Queensland in 20182. Coles and Woolworths also recently announced they would stop providing free single-use plastic bags in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, but have both back-flipped 3,4 after a customer backlash against paying for reusable plastic bags.

“The single-use plastic bag ban has become such a controversial issue, but it really doesn’t need to be,” says Janelle Baird, co-founder of Melbourne-based Real Food Grocer. “We understand that consumers are under a lot of cost-of-living stress and don’t take kindly to having to pay extra for bags. People are also leading very busy lives and can find it difficult to remember to bring their own reusable bags with them to the supermarket.

“We really want to take the stress out of grocery shopping by offering Melbourne shoppers the chance to get their groceries home delivered with no need for environmentally damaging plastic bags of any kind.”

Real Food Grocer delivers fully customised fruit and vegetable, meat, dairy and pantry boxes to the suburbs of Melbourne. Fresh produce is delivered in recyclable cardboard boxes with no plastic bags.

“Mushrooms, beans and snow peas will come loose in your box, and we use mini cardboard pots and paper bags for things like spinach,” explains Baird.

“This all helps up save an incredible 497 plastic bags per customer, per year, which equates to a saving of around 100kg of carbon emissions for each of our customers,” says Baird. “It’s all part of our goal to produce zero landfill in our business by 2025.

“It’s our belief that it’s time for the big supermarkets to stop passing the buck back onto consumers and actually provide sustainable solutions to plastic bags that don’t inconvenience their customers. We’ve achieved that, so why can’t they?”

Real Food Grocer is an entirely Australian owned and run family business that aims to give all Melbournians an ethical, affordable and convenient way to have Australian-grown fresh produce delivered straight to their doorsteps.

Visit for more information.

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