Egyptian butter is often sold in either plastic bags or on polystyrene trays with plastic wrap. You’ll usually find this butter in the big freezers or refrigerated deli counters. Imported butter is also available wrapped in waxed or foiled paper.
Fortunately for us here in Dahab, it’s also very easy to buy butter without any packaging! Simply bring your own container and ask the deli clerk for the amount of butter, in fractions of kilos, that you would like to buy. He’ll weigh your container first and then add the butter that you’ve asked for. When you are ready to check-out, the deli clerk will confirm with the cashier how much butter he has given you. Buying butter in your own container allows you not only to reduce waste, but also to choose the exact amount of butter you’d like since the clerk will be cutting off smaller pieces from a large block of butter. Buy a lot and keep it in your own freezer or purchase just a small amount. It’s up to you!
REFUSING to buy butter in its usual packaging takes some practice – and some planning! As usual, we recommend the deli at the 1,000 Items (Alf Sunf) supermarket located in Asalah Square. The clerks there are friendly and are now used to us bringing our own containers. Friends of mine have also reported that El Wekala supermarket, next to Ibrahim’s veggie shop in the square, are also open and easy-going about customers bringing their own containers.
(If you’re wondering what’s so bad about the polystyrene trays, read this.)
Have you purchased butter using your own container? Did you find the clerks helpful or did you run into any problems? Or are you willing to try this on your next shopping trip?
Refuse ~ Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle