When you take a look at your food cupboard or walk into any supermarket store—even if you fancy yourself a dab hand at recycling—it’s hard not to wonder where the constant stream of packaging infiltrating our lives will end up. But a new supermarket venture in the US is hoping to put a different face on packaging waste by introducing the country’s first “package-free, zero waste grocery store,” called In.gredients.
In an interview with ABC, co-founder Joseph Lane describes it as “a throwback to old times”. The store operates on the premise that you can buy as little or as much as you like, using your own containers within which to store your purchases—similar in many ways to the bulk bin concept apart from the fact there won’t be a plastic bag in sight to utilise (unless you bring your own, of course).
The community-orientated store in Austin, Texas will also sell local, organic groceries, host community events like cooking lessons, concerts, and garden days, and feature local artwork.
Joseph Lane thought up the concept for the store together with his brothers Christian and Patrick and two other friends. Initially it was only beer and wine on the list, but the team soon expanded its idea to include a wide range of groceries including:
- Organic grains (rice, beans, oats, cereals, and the like)
- Spices (enough to fill your spice cabinet)
- Loose leaf tea and coffee beans
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Natural baking ingredients (flours, sugars, yeast, etc)
- Oils (olive, vinegar, and so forth)
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese)
- Local beer and wine (bring your clean and empty growlers and wine bottles)
- Household items (cleaners, toiletries, etc)
But how necessary is it? Well, when you consider that in the US alone 1.4 billion pounds of waste goes to landfill per day—40 percent of which is packaging—you start to really see the value.
Find out more about the venture in the video below.