Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Packaging-free, zero-waste grocery store to open this year (video)

Concept to reduce food waste and keep packaging out of landfills.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Taking the first two 'Rs' in "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" to heart, the soon-to-open In.gredients in Austin, TX, is much like other natural grocery stores nationwide, except for one thing: everything is sold in bulk. And by everything, they mean everything — local and organic dry, bulk items, dairy, wine, cleaning products and just about everything else you'd find at a similar grocer.

"It's as if the specialty bulk food section rebelled and took over the rest of a traditional grocery store. In.gredients will replace unhealthy, overpackaged junk with local, organic, and natural foods, and moonlight as a community center with cooking classes, gardening workshops, and art shows on the side," states the GOOD feature that recently put In.gredients in the media spotlight.

Though the store is not the first of its kind in the world (as London's similar store Unpackaged opened last year), it will be the first package-free, bulk-only grocer in the U.S. where patrons are encouraged to bring their own containers. The founders' goals are, "encouraging portion control, seasonal eating, and the reduction of energy used to transport food from farms to customers."

But what if a customer forgets their reusable containers at home? No problem. In.gredients will provide compostable ones.

Hopefully, this concept succeeds and catches on in other cities as it could end up significantly reducing food waste and could keep thousands of pounds of packaging out of the trash and landfills as well.

Co-founder Christian Lane states in their press release,"We care about the health of our customers and our local food economy. We’re prioritizing ‘reduce, reuse, then recycle’ and maximizing farmer revenue. We want this to be a fun and insightful experience for everyone, and hope this can springboard new ideas about how we can make grocery shopping even more sustainable."

In.gredients will potentially open in East Austin this fall (if all of their funding goes through).

Information via In.gredients and GOOD; photo: Shannon At Zeer via Flickr.

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