Germany plans soon to open a "zero-waste" supermarket.
Everyone wants to contribute a smaller carbon footprint, but it’s quite difficult when 80% of stock sold in supermarkets is wrapped in toxic packaging. In effect, Americans still produce near 3 pounds of trash every day, and this is a big problem.
So what could be an intelligent solution? How about a zero-waste grocery store that utilizes no waste materials.
To eliminate food-packaging waste before it even gets into the shopping cart is the idea behind Original Unvertpackt, a new concept supermarket in Germany that takes things into zero-waste territory by encouraging consumers to tote reusable containers to the store.
Nothing that comes in a disposable box, bag, jar, or other container is sold at this store. And instead of shelf after shelf of boxed items, this supermarket utilizes bulk bins, attractively displayed produce that’s not shrink wrapped or stored in tetra packs, and beverage stations for refillable water bottles.
Such a store is the brainchild of Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski, two Germany-based social impact innovators. On the project’s website, they wrote that they want consumers to have a choice about how much food they buy, as well as how much waste it creates.
And it’s clear that German shoppers want what Original Unvertpackt has to offer, too! Although a large part of the effort has been financed by private investors, the project’s team took up crowd-funding to raise the final $61,000 it needed to launch in Berlin. In three weeks, they smashed the target goal, raising about $124,000.
The video above is in German, but it’s pretty easy to follow along and check out the concept in action. Wolf and Glimbovski say that although they’re not “big players” in the food industry,” they want to show the grocery conglomerates that there’s a more eco-friendly way to sell food.
While zero-waste supermarkets may not be so easily be implemented in America (most citizens barely remember to bring their recyclable bags to the store), such change is obviously needed and completely possible. As the creators noted on their website, this generation has “littered the world,” so maybe the next one has a chance to make it better.