Before we started this challenge a month ago, I had the presence of mind to contact some of our so-called organic, crunchy granola, eco-aware, I-haven't-shaved-my-armpits-in-a-year Edinburgh-based grocers, i.e., Earthy and Realfoods. Earthy's website did not provide an e-mail address so I stopped by the Cannonmills branch to have a word with them. Plastic seemed everywhere but at least some packaging was paper and the staff were sympathetic to our cause.
However, RealFoods DID have an e-mail address. So on 23 August, I sent them this e-mail:
Friends and I are embarking on a plastic-free month. We intend to buy food, drink and other products that contain no plastic nor come in plastic packaging. My role in this initiative is to research and source products and the shops that might carry such goods. We are particularly interested in the following:
Household cleaning products such as dishwasher detergent, fabric softener, bathroom cleaner, etc.
Personal grooming products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.
Dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
Do you stock these products in non-plastic containers?
Realfoods finally answered me......but not until 22 September. Their response? I give you Exhibit B:
Apologies for the delay in responding to your mail.
I believe a lot of our packaging for the products you mention are in plastic, and at this stage your month has probably passed. Let me know if there is anything else i can help you with.
jean - Realfoods
That's what I call solidarity with the environment! And if you have ever been to Realfoods, you know that they package even amounts as miniscule as 15 grams of edible nasturtiums in non-biodegradable plastic. So that's alright then!