Customers of Woolworths and Coles have a simple message for the supermarket giants – stop wrapping small portions of your produce in plastic.
More than 50,000 people have backed a West Australian shopper who has set up a petition to curb the retailer’s excessive use of plastic and styrofoam packaging on vegetables and fruit.
"The world is overloaded with plastic. Consumption of disposable plastic is a major contributor to plastic pollution," Pat Lowe from Broome said in her Change.org petition.
"These items may be used for a day, or just a minute, but remain in the world forever — plastic does not disintegrate.
"Wrapping fresh food in plastic is an unnecessary use of non-biodegradable materials, which is leading to the proliferation of harmful waste, much of which is ending up in our oceans."
Ms Lowe started the petition last month, and received more than 40,000 signatures within the first three weeks. At the time of publishing, the petition had more than 51,000 supporters.
"It is ridiculous to wrap fruit and vegies and I refuse to purchase anything wrapped like this," supporter Kate Maffett said.
Michael Stanley, another supporter, wrote: "It is a waste, danger to environment, expensive and the list goes on."
While Cassandra Wiles wrote: "I want to support the selling of organics by these supermarkets but the packaging is a big turn off."
Janet Lffinger wrote: "Consumables do not need to overwrapped. None of the packaging will compost."
In response to the petition, a Coles spokesman told News Corp : "We make every effort to prioritise the selling of loose fruit and vegetables to minimise packaging as much as possible, however, there are times when packaging is required to protect the product’s freshness and to ensure food safety from farm to home.
"If packaging is used, we aim to have the best environmental outcomes. The vast majority of our trays are made of PET which is fully recyclable at kerbside collections and all plastic film we use can be brought back into stores to be recycled through the REDcycle program."
Meanwhile, a statement from Woolworths said: "We understand our customers are concerned by the packaging used and we are currently looking at recyclable or sustainable alternatives for macro organic produce."