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Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Another Step Forward for Zero Waste

Trends come and go but occasionally one comes along that inspires us to permanently change our lives for the better.

Consumer packaged goods all have one thing in common... they come in packaging. That typically means plastic, a lot of it. A whopping 23 percent of landfill waste comes from containers and packaging.

But we can do our part by learning to shop in zero-waste style! Everytime we head to the store with our reusable containers and produce bags in tow, we can sleep easy knowing we’ve averted the use and disposal of more needless plastic.

In addition to stand-by dry goods items, like beans, rice, coffee, nuts, spices and oats, that have been sold in bulk aisles for decades, there is growing availability of bulk liquids, such as olive oil, honey, vinegars, freshly ground nut butters, soft cheeses and much more!

Even cleaning supplies, like dish soap, dry laundry detergent, Castile soap and more are available for purchase in bulk sans packaging. You’ll also find in some stores personal hygiene items, like shampoo, condition, and body lotion in both liquid and bar forms.

The Trend Forecast

The first zero-waste shop, Unpackaged, opened its doors in 2007 in London, according to Believe Earth, and since then more than 150 packaging-free markets around the world have sprouted up with many more opening their doors every year. From New York City and Tokyo to London and South Africa, they're popping up like organic mushrooms everywhere as consumers hunt for solutions to ditch harmful and unnecessary packaging. Check out the excellent blog Litterless for their Grocery Store Guide that lists stores everywhere from Waco, Texas to Lancaster, PA.

Tare It Up With ECOlunchbox

ECOlunchbox has long been at the forefront of the bulk shopping trend. Our Blue Water Bento containers have been etched with tare weights for years for use in bulk shops.

For those who aren’t familiar with tare weights, that’s a fancy way of saying how much a container weighs. The cashier can easily deduct the bento weight from your granola and dried beans, and tally up the total. Without a tare weight, you’d have to visit the customer service desk to calculate the weight and label your container with tape. Our bentos definitely saves you time!

Customers at Rainbow Grocery Store in San Francisco, Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley, California and El Cerrito Natural Grocery in El Cerrito, Calif., are accustomed to seeing our stainless steel food containers in these stores’ extensive bulk sections. Soon you will also find our bentos at Package Free in Brooklyn and at Nada in Vancouver BC, pending approval.

Zero Waste Tools of The Trade

We predict access to package-free shopping will continue to increase and growing consumer demand for zero waste shopping will drive innovative and convenient bulk grocery solutions.

The conveniently etched tare weights on our steel containers make bulk shopping easier for consumers, because they don’t have to stop by customer service to get their containers weighed. Similarly, Goods Holding Co. sells glass jars with tare weights, and Eco Bag Products sells organic product bags with tare weights.

What innovation do you think would help make bulk shopping easier for you? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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