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The supermarket that banned plastic

Based in Berlin, Original Unverpackt’s name translates to “Original Unpacked”. It promotes waste-free shopping by offering all of its nearly 400 items in formats which allow shoppers to use their own refillable containers. Fruit and vegetables are displayed in trays, greengrocer-style; grains, seeds, nuts and other supplies are stocked in free-flow bulk bins attached to the walls.

The philosophy driving Original Unverpackt is that of “unpackaged shopping” – a more advanced type of bulk shopping which allows customers to bring their own containers and siphon any amount of goods they like from bulk bins.

Developing and implementing this concept took two years, and a further four months of testing. The store was funded by around 108,000 euros donated after an internet campaign.

Saying they want more people to allow packaging-free shopping, founders Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski also offer seminars to retailers wanting advice on how to offer “unpackaged shopping” in their stores.

The seminars cover problems with waste and plastic; ecological and economic benefits of packaging-free business; which products are the star performers in this system; and supply issues.

The video is in German, but we think the general idea could translate well to New Zealand.

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