Let's take a moment to examine the picture bellow, which represents the perfect world of plastic-free grocery shopping (as depicted in royalty free images):
The people on the picture are smiling. With their paper bags, glass jars and guilt-free conscience, they are actually happy when they leave the store. Unfortunately, reality is much different. And, realistically, there is really only one problem when it comes to reducing plastic:
PLASTIC IS EVERYWHERE.
I go to the store to get some snacks and the only thing I can get is chocolate. Everything else is packaged in either bags from mixed materials or film (neither can be recycled). Do I want these shortbread biscuits or these chocolate-covered pretzels? Yes. Am I going to buy them? No. If I buy them, not only will I feel bad while I'm finishing the whole box in the same day. But I'll also feel bad after because I have to throw the film in the general waste. Basically, my life without this box of shortbread is a happier life. To some people this may sound like a very superficial problem. Get over yourself Gery, it's just a box of shortbread. But it's not! It represents everything wrong with our society. We care more about our greed then we do our planet. Maybe I should use the word gluttony for better effect.
On a less dramatic note, though that's hard when it comes to plastic. I do think that all plastic should be replaced since there are enough sustainable solutions. However, even if we didn't replace all plastic, could we at least replace the non-recyclable materials. Let's face it Not yet recycled translates to Will never be recycled. So just substitute that packaging. That way, when I go shopping, maybe I could finally buy some shortbread.
Until then, I guess I'll have to make my own. After exams...