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  • Jenica

What I Still Buy in Packaging

In conjunction with my recent post Zero Waste Grocery Shopping, I want to follow up with a post regarding what I actually buy that is still in packaging. If you’ve seen my monthly trash jars, you know that I put a small amount of packaging into the landfills each month. I still, however, have items that I purchase in recyclable packaging that don’t end up in the trash can but do end up in the recycling bin.

Zero Waste Grocery Trip

Pause here for a minute – the zero waste movement is not just a movement focusing on the trash we put into landfills. It also emphasizes a reduction on the need for a recycling system. The reason for this is quite complicated but basically boils down to the fact that recycling systems are inconsistent, unreliable, and still use a lot of energy to achieve. Plastic is especially bad when it comes to “recycling” as usually it is down cycled into items that can’t then be recycled again.

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

That is why I am working on not only keeping my trash production low but reducing my recycling as well. I have created this list to help me identify the things in my house that I continue to buy with packaging that end up either as garbage or recycled. As time goes on, I hope to revisit this list and slowly cross off items for ones that I have found alternatives for.

So let’s take a look at what I still buy in packaging! All of the items here I have bought within the last six months (but not necessarily regularly).


Bathroom Products

  • Gluten-Free Bread

  • Ketchup

  • Homemade Apple Juice

  • Pesto

  • Vegetable Bullion

  • Cheese

  • Rice Cakes

  • Ground Beef

  • Coconut Milk

  • Vegan Butter

  • Cereal

  • Coconut Yogurt

  • Toilet Paper

  • Dish Washer Soap

  • NyQuil

  • Ibuprofen

  • Cough Drops

  • Vitamins

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Floss

  • Witch Hazel


  • Juice

  • Jam

  • Mayonnaise

  • Pesto

  • Pasta Sauce

  • Cow’s Milk

  • Caramel Sauce

  • Salad Dressing

  • Alcohol

  • Coconut Oil

  • Shea Butter

  • Essential Oils

  • Probiotics

  • Vitamins

  • Salve


  • Canned Soup

  • Canned Beans

  • Canned Olives

Paper/Wax Cardboard:

  • Eggs

  • Bread

  • Ice cream

  • Soy Milk

  • Lactose Free Half and Half

  • Dessert Pies

Do you know an alternative to something I have been purchasing in packaging? Or have a question about why I still choose to buy some things in plastic? I'd love to hear from you!

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