While the kitchen is one of the first parts of the home where families go green, the cardboard boxes holding organic cereals are no less wasteful than those that hold Lucky Charms. Packaging is one of the pesky problems that continue to fill trash cans of otherwise eco-friendly homes. Thankfully, the concept of eco-friendly packaging grocery shopping is finally making its way to the US.
No-waste grocery stores first gained popularity in several European countries over the last few years. The concept is simple — prevent disposable packaging from clogging your trash can by not bringing home food in disposable packaging. At these stores, foods are packaged by consumers themselves in sustainable receptacles. Dry goods, such as nuts or cereals, are stored loosely so shoppers can package them in jars or other reusable containers brought from home. Liquid goods, including oils and syrups, are held in dispensers and are measured out into reusable bottles. At some stores, milk and other beverages are sold in washable, refillable bottles. It’s an idea similar to using canvas bags in place of plastic bags, a practice that keeps millions of plastic film bags out of landfills each year.
One stateside no-waste grocery purveyor is The Fillery, located in Brooklyn, New York. The store was founded with the mission to decrease both packaging waste and food waste. Buying in bulk lessens food waste because shoppers have the option to only buy as much food as they need instead of purchasing the amount of food in the available packages.
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