A grocery store called in.gredients will open this year in Austin, Texas and the owners say it will be package and waste free. Food items will be kept in bulk bins and no plastic bags will be given to customers. Patrons will bring their food-storage containers and bags for transport. Items they will sell are very much what you would find at a health food store: produce, organic grains, spices, loose leaf teas and coffee beans, dried fruits and nuts, baking items (flours, sugars, etc.), oils, dairy, beer and wine.
Their products will be organic or all-natural. In their press release, one of the founders explained, “Truth be told, what’s normal in the grocery business isn’t healthy for consumers or the environment. In addition to the unhealthiness associated with common food processing, nearly all the food we buy in the grocery store is packaged, leaving us no choice but to continue buying packaged food that’s not always reusable or recyclable.”
Each year the use of about one billion plastic shopping bags in the US results in 600,000,000 pounds of waste being added to landfills. One estimate stated the annual growth rate for packaging and container waste was 1.8%. One no-waste store is not going to make much difference when the total amount of waste is so enormous, but it could be the start of other stores adopting the same, or similar, measures. The fact they are trying to do something differently also raises awareness and sets the right example.
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