First U.S. No-Packaging Grocery to Open in 2011

6 years ago

This month, The Brothers Lane will announce the Austin location of the first in.gredients store, which will offer no-packaging grocery shopping. The store, which is expected to open sometime in October, will let customers fill their own reusable containers with everything and anything found in a normal grocery store: local and organic products ranging from dry bulk goods and dairy to wine and beer and household cleaners. Customers can also purchase compostable containers at the store if they arrive without containers of their own.

The United Kingdom has had a similar store since 2006. Unpackaged has gotten much notice since it opened for its “pre-cycling” approach to grocery shopping.

How will in.gredients work? Check out their promotional video below:

Anna Loza of The Utopianist said she hopes the stores will spread beyond Austin:

Refilling your own containers is a great idea, and I know there are people tucked away all over the country who would prefer to bring in their own jug to fill with oil, shampoo or what have you. Giving people options is the key to getting everybody to do just a little bit more than they do now, and that is how we change the world. Throwing away less packaging and eating local, seasonal produce will positively contribute to many environmental concerns — having a cool store in your neighborhood which allows you to do this is key to developing green habits and thought — the Lane Brothers want the whole experience to be a learning one, as well as springboard new ideas for future locations.

Liz of Ask Liz First 4 Green Planet Solutions says she’s “completely stoked” about in.gredients’ arrival because of its potential impact on how much trash our society is creating:

Almost half of everything that goes to our landfills is packaging and most of that packaging has been used only one time. I am very anxious to see this philosphy spread throughout the nation and eventually see package free, zero waste stores for all consumable products. It’s a no-brainer and it’s a win-win for everyone!

Rachel Cernansky of Treehugger thinks the success of such a project could eventually have long-reaching effects on other parts of the grocery supply chain:

If a store like In.gredients succeeds, will it push big brands to start providing bulk options in chain stores, and those chain stores to accept and promote those options? It’ll be huge if we reach a point where you can bring a refillable bottle into Walmart or Target and fill it with shampoo or laundry detergent, and leave the store carrying all your groceries with no more packaging than you entered with.

If you had a zero-packaging grocery store near you, would you shop there? What do you think of this concept? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer.

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