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Our Plastic Free Packaging

A guide to the packaging of Real Foods products and the packaging we use to dispatch them to you

Real Foods own brand pre-packs

For over 40 years the environmentally conscious folk at Real Foods have been packing their own brand 'Organics' and 'Essentials' dried goods ranges not in plastic but in cellulose bags. Some of these products can also be bought straight from the original sack at Real Foods’ stores. Simply go along to one of their Edinburgh shops with your own food container.

Cellulose is a component of plants and trees – wood or cotton pulp is treated to break down the long fibrous chains and clean out the impurities. The resultant material is then regenerated as a clear shiny film that is primarily composed of crystalline cellulose molecules. Unlike man-made plastic polymers, cellulose is a natural polymer that will decompose and therefore not clog up our oceans.

This means that cellulose can biodegrade with the assistance of micro-organisms in the soil, just as leaves and plants do.

Real Foods are rightly proud of the fact that when the new ‘cellophane-style’ clear film became readily and cheaply available in the 1960s, they remained true to their environmental credentials and continued to use true, plant based, plastic free, bio-film cellulose bags for their pre-packs.




Disposing of your empty Real Foods own brand pre-pack bags

Cellulose bags can be added to your compost or thrown into general waste (they will break down into vegetable matter). Tests have shown that when buried or composted, cellulose film typically breaks down in an average of 28 to 60 days.

To add empty pre-pack bags to your home compost, scrunch up the cellulose bags to create air pockets in your compost. Layering any compostable material will lead to compaction and loss of oxygen. The microscopic organisms that break down the material need warmth, food and oxygen.












Bulk Packaging


Please note that bulk packaging may NOT be plastic free – our suppliers use a variety of different types of packaging and we have no control over this. Sacks may be hessian or they may be thick, reusable plastic. Many boxes of dried fruit include an inside liner of plastic. We never add any further plastic packaging.

Buying in bulk reduces plastic – it doesn’t eliminate it.


Packaging used for your order 

Real Plastic Free uses as much recycled packaging material as we possibly can.

You order will be sent to you in either an environmentally-friendly padded envelope (paper-based) or a cardboard box. When we send a cardboard box we will use shredded waste paper, wood pulp trays, or a mixture of both, to ensure that your items are secure in the package and will arrive at your door in good condition. Boxes are sealed with brown paper tape.

All this packaging can either be recycled with your local paper and cardboard recycling or added to your compost bin (remember to scrunch up to allow air pockets).

Recyclable and biodegradable packaging makes us smile, as you can see!