There are many organic veg box delivery companies in the UK. If and to what extent the veg box contents can be customised, varies from one company to another. The produce is mostly unpackaged and delivered in one or more boxes (often cardboard) which are expected to be picked up by the driver on the next delivery and reused by the company.
Items can usually be bought in addition or instead of the veg box, but these may come in different type of packaging.
I've been trialling two of the bigger companies, Riverford and Abel & Cole, and have created the table below for the product packaging for each item I had delivered in 2019, both as part of a veg box or separately. I'll continue to update this table with more products.
Riverford boxes come open while Abel & Cole boxes come closed and tied with a string.
Boxes of both contain paper marketing material, like recipes & news. There is no option to disable these on either website. Abel & Cole boxes sometimes contain (possibly unwanted) promotional gifts.
When ordering outside of a box, each Riverford product comes individually packaged in paper bags and then put in a box. Abel & Cole puts the items unpackaged in a box if there are enough items to make a box, otherwise puts them in a paper bag.
For more info, see:
“FAQs” (Abel & Cole, 2019)
“Recycling Guide” (Riverford.co.uk, 2019)
|Item||Abel & Cole (as part of box)||Abel & Cole (not part of box)||Riverford (as part of box)||Riverford (not part of box)|
|Carrot||Unpackaged or biodegradable plastic bag||Unpackaged or biodegradable plastic bag||Unpackaged||Paper bag|
|Red onion||Unpackaged||Unpackaged||Beech netting|
|Sharon fruit||Unpackaged||Paper punnet|
|Spring green||Plastic bag||Unpackaged|
|Mini cucumber||Plastic punnet|
|Parsley||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Sweet pepper||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Watercress||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Kale||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Mushroom||Plastic punnet||Paper punnet|
|Purple sprouting broccoli||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Pak choi||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Peach||Paper punnet||Paper punnet|
|Rosemary||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Spring onion||Rubber band||Rubber band|
|Strawberry||Paper punnet||Plastic punnet|
|Grape||Paper punnet||Paper punnet||Paper punnet|
|Spinach||Plastic bag||Plastic bag||Plastic bag|
|Ginger||Paper bag||Paper bag||Beech netting|
|Tomato||Paper punnet||Paper punnet||Paper punnet||Plastic punnet|