In.gredients : Packaging-free grocery store to open in US
I’ve previously mentioned a store that opened in the UK called Unpackaged. It is a small food store that offers items in bulk bins with essentially no packaging. Consumers bring their own containers and fill up just what they need. Co-ops in the US have been doing this on a smaller scale for awhile — many have bulk sections where you can buy granola, nuts, dried fruit, etc. But many people don’t remember to bring their own containers and end up using those flimsy plastic bags that seem to litter our oceans.
Now a similar store to Unpackaged will make its US debut in Austin, Texas later this year. The store is called in.gredients and it will carry meats, dairy, oils, spices, baking supplies, grains and seasonal produce. Obviously some of the food they carry will need some form of light packaging for food safety, and for those products, they say they’ll offer compostable and/or fully recyclable containers. But the majority of the products in the store will be packaging free and be sourced as locally as possible.
I love the concept of package-free anything. The less plastic and styrofoam we have in the waste stream, the better! Plus, I don’t know about you, but I hate being forced to buy a certain portion. If I go in to a store and need a few cups of lentils for a recipe, but there’s no bulk section, I end up having to buy a big plastic bag of them which costs me more and leaves me with more than I wanted. I’ve also seen things like peppers packaged (on sytrofoam plates wrapped in plastic). Fact is, packaging costs consumers more, and is usually superfluous.
I also think it could be a cool idea for package-free food stores to create community involvement through cooking classes and opportunities to meet some of the local farmers and vendors. It may help consumers gain a better understanding of where the food comes from, and promote more at home cooking.
Check out this video about in.gredients and why it is necessary to change our food system:
photo credit: flickr / social enterprise coalition