good point about vegetables/fruit bagging

Someone posted a good idea regarding vegetables (carrots in a bag) - many veggies and fruits are bagged as a matter of course, and then re-bagged at checkout. How about a strap system that’s disposable or reusable - your choice?

We see twist ties (paper, with wire core), wide printed rubber bands and something I’ve seen occasionally - a velcro-like strip. These are used to bind vegetables that come in bunches (like romaine lettuce or beets with greens.)

What if these velcro ties could be dispensed like the bags-on-a-roll, to be used to bind together vegetables like cucumbers, carrots and even yams or potatoes. The limitation is round or soft fruits (like apples, oranges or peaches).

Just a thought!

(Unfortunately, my search for this velcro-like strip came up empty. Any ideas - I’m really interested in finding the source for this product. It’s not a Velcro hook-and-loop material - it locks into itself. The material is plastic and is relatively smooth to the touch. On closer examination it’s covered with thousands of tiny ‘sticks’ that have a bead-like head. When looped onto itself, these beads engage and lock into eachother.)

I like the thinking here – use a durable reusable item rather than a disposable – but it doesn’t address the hygiene issue. The main reason people feel compelled to put produce in individual bags is to protect it from contamination, real or perceived.

If you’re just replacing the twist-tie with something re-usable you’ll probably still have consumers dropping their velcroed lettuce into a plastic bag. Am I reading the concept right?

I hear your point, hitch.

It’s hygiene that’s the issue, not just a means to carry your items around.

Lettuce is not going to work since it’s fragile and somewhat wet. But, vegetables that have a relatively short trip from the aisle to the checkout counter may not need bags.

The strips are not really 100% reusable- they use less plastic and are more like reusable/disposable (think Glad’s plastic food containers - keep or throw away.) It’s an in-between step. It’s not too precious.

If shopping carts were rethought (not redesigned for at least 20 years) then they could be designed to hold veggies separately from other groceries (to prevent crushing and feeling compelled to bag stuff to keep them intact.)

If I had to drop my veggies and fruit into the same bin in my cart, I don’t mind if they touch eachother. At home they get de-bagged and stuck into 2-3 drawers in my fridge anyway.

The angle of this whole concept (not a contest entry by the way - I already entered) is to maybe look at other wasteful bagging in-store - not just the checkout bags.

And most people reuse shopping bags (I do for smaller garbage bins in my house.) But I don’t think anyone uses fruit-veggie bags over again.

Interesting discussion overall - I should really be getting back to work though…

Hi there millercreative and hitch, I think it was my design you were referring to (carrots in a bag) thanks for appreciating it!
well the idea was to reduce the amount of plastic used…it could be a simple adhesive tape used to bind things together i believe it may reduce the quantity of plastic to almost 1/30th.
well there is a good point of hygiene…but i think this system can be used especially for veges which we peel before cooking or atleast wash…which is my usual routine…i know its more of a perceived hygiene issue…

I think even if the design is not universally applicable ie to all the produce , but even if it manages to reduce the amount of plastic used by a small quantity…its a success!!

It’s a great idea and it’s how it’s always been done until we got into this ridiculous idea that everything has to be washed and ready to eat and packaged in a protective atmosphere. It’s so stupid, in my local store you actually can’t buy loose vegetables anymore! If you go to a farmer’s market then this is how they package their produce already…why can’t supermarkets do it too? We need to get out of this awful convenience culture where you save 30 seconds on preparing your meal so you can sit down quicker and sit in front of the TV all night…Also with particular reference to prepackaged salads, they only last a day, 2 at most, and you end up chucking it in the bin, wheras if you buy a lettuce and wash it yourself then it will last for a week or more!

Future FYI…you can enter more than once…its the hour of actual concept exploration/presentation that is driven by the 1 Hour.

ahh good ideas! i just registered here and went thru the entire 1hds thread, very interesting stuff…
as for the “limitations on round or soft vegetables”, i think that could easily be overcome by either wide and flexible enough velcro straps, or maybe that “super velcro”… not sure of the trade name, but i’ve encountered it working in warehouses before.
its too bad that its no help for this contest, but you or somebody down the road can always run with it! :slight_smile:

Another idea to save bags would be to allow shoppers to scan produce and bag all their produce into one bag as they shop. That would avoid the use of multiple bags and avoid hygiene issues with lettuce rolling around in a dirty cart. There is a new grocery store, called Bloom that appears to be trying this out. They let the customers use hand held scanners while they shop. I haven’t shopped there yet, but they must double check based on weight when the shopper checks out.