In the food trade, fruits and vegetables are still sold for almost two-thirds in plastic packaging. Discounters sell significantly more fruits and vegetables in plastic packaging than supermarkets. At Penny and Aldi, the average plastic ratio is particularly high at 81 percent and 74 percent, and at Edeka it is significantly lower, at 48 percent.
According to a recent market check by Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg and Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband in a total of 42 branches of the 8 most important grocers, the consumer advocates examined the assortment of tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and apples in a non-representative sample and looked at a total of 1,394 prices.
Unpackaged goods often more expensive than goods in plastic
Unpacked fruits and vegetables are therefore often more expensive. With significantly more than half of 162 price comparisons made, the unpacked variant was more expensive. On average, 57 percent of the price comparisons made between packaged and unpackaged crops were cheaper for the plastic version, and only 35 percent more expensive. Particularly noteworthy are carrots and apples: 96 percent of the carrots and 76 percent of the apples cost unpacked more than their counterparts with plastic wrappers. Only vine tomatoes were predominantly pre-packaged (88 percent) cheaper.
In 31 of the 42 discounters and supermarkets visited, consumers pay more for an environmentally friendly purchase. For 162 sample price comparisons, consumers wishing to do away with plastic would have to pay 273.64 instead of 233.92 euros.
Plastic flood with tomatoes, bright spots with cucumbers
The plastic balance of tomatoes was particularly bad. A total of 360 cases of packaged tomatoes faced only 103 unpacked offers, corresponding to an average plastic yield of 78 percent. In a Kaufland market, 14 out of 16 different types of tomatoes were packaged in plastic, which is 88 percent. With one Lidl and one Penny branch, the odds were even higher with nine packaged and one unpacked variety (90 percent).
Peppers and carrots were only available in plastic packaging at some discounters. Discounter Penny, for example, did not sell peppers in any of its six verified plastic-free stores. In each of the five markets visited by Lidl and Netto, no carrots were found without plastic trays or bags.
Cucumbers performed best with a plastic yield of 43 percent. Normal cucumbers are practically only sold without a plastic wrap, while smaller snack cucumbers are often put in plastic containers.
Source: Markenartikel Magazin / Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg