London’s Unpackaged Grocery Store Eliminates Wasteful Packaging


London's Unpackaged Grocery Store Eliminates Wasteful Packaging

I have finally gotten the whole recycling/composting thing to a science. I have availed myself of the no-junk-mail registry, I’m as close as I can get to a paperless office, send documents to my iPhone instead of printing.  I try to only buy food that doesn’t need packaging, recycle plastic bags if I get them, carry shopping bags with me.  I put the paper that I do generate into my high heat compost bin.  I buy in glass if at all possible, then use them for the food I make for clients (yogurt, bone and meat stocks, dressings, skin cleanser).  I usually only take my one trash can to the road for pick-up about every three weeks. All leaves, grass clippings and yard clippings go in the compost,

But it is impossible to not avoid plastic at all, meat comes in plastic unless I drive all the way to Whole Foods, not the best choice for the planet, driving so far.  But I can get all the meat in butcher paper.

Unpackaged, a small grocery store in London England, is operating with a unique concept; sell products without any wasteful packaging. Beginning it’s life as a small market stall in 2006 before soon expanding into a full fledged store, Catherine Conway started Unpackaged because she believes there’s a better way to sell food.

Unpackaged combines the best elements of a farmers market, a traditional store’s bulk bins, the convenience of a downtown shop, and extreme eco-friendliness.  The premise of the store is simple; sell the highest quality local organic ingredients and products, without any wasteful packaging. This is accomplished by selling most items without any packaging at all, and using easily recyclable and/or reusable containers for the items that do require packaging.

From the Unpackaged website:

  1. Remember to bring your containers* from home
  2. Come to Unpackaged and say hello
  3. Choose the product and amount you want
  4. Take your goods home in your own containers (if you forget, we have reusable bags)
  5. When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!

    *Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, Tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.

Local organic food with no wasteful packaging is a match made in heaven, and it’s so obvious it’s a wonder why more businesses like this haven’t cropped up around the world.

Visit the Unpackaged website.

I read about health food stores that lets people bring thier own jars for juice, honey, grains in bulk, bulk spices.   Get creative, pressure your health food store to do the same!   One store had a big shelf where people could leave jars and take what they needed.

One Comment on “London’s Unpackaged Grocery Store Eliminates Wasteful Packaging”

  1. London says:

    Great initiative. I hope that it catches on. Plastic bags will probably end up killing the world. Scary thought.


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