World’s First Zero-Waste Grocery Store

Humans always think they can improve upon nature. Take bananas. Growing in large clusters, each one is covered in its own sheath several millimeters thick. The tropical fruit has a good chance of being plucked from a tree in Costa Rica, tossed on a truck bed, then into a box with other bananas, shipped thousands of miles and eventually lobbed onto grocery store shelves, where it will be handled by who knows how many people until the right one comes along to pick it up, put it in a cart, toss it onto a counter and into a bag and then finally home to a kitchen counter where it will eventually be picked up, peeled and eaten.

The unadulterated banana has to be tough to withstand all that. And because of its natural wrapper, it is. But humans decided to give it a little help anyway, and so they began wrapping it in plastic. Of course, that plastic packaging will end up in a landfill forever, while the natural banana sheath will biodegrade in about a week. Nature clearly wins again.

In Berlin, a new kind of store has opened that eliminates all the excess material our groceries are wrapped in. At Original Unverpackt (Original Unpackaged) the goal is to create zero waste by making it easy for customers to purchase exactly how much they actually need, reducing overconsumption and waste. Original Unverpackt carries organic produce and other staples that customers put in their own reusable bags, plus a bulk bin system that includes dispensers for things like shampoo and even milk. Customers just bring their own containers.

Read the whole story by Khadija Khan on…

Photo above right courtesy

Photo at top: Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski,the creators of the Original Unverpackt. Credit: Plaid Zebra

5 responses to “World’s First Zero-Waste Grocery Store”

  1. Peter Andrews says:

    i wish they had a shop like this in my area. What a stupid idea putting one banana in a plastic wrapper and saying its for freshness????

  2. Marie Delaperrière says:

    Dear author,

    Do you know unverpackt, lose, nachhaltig, gut in Kiel, Germany?
    Unverpackt -lose, nachhaltig, gut-,, opened in February 2014 and is the pioneer with this concept in Germany.
    2 Month later "Dienet" opened and then Original Unverpackt in Sept 2014.

    The concept was however not new: Already in 2006 Catherine Conway opend "unpackaged" and there many of other exemples that you can find around the world.

    As your site encourages plastic free packaging, I think important that you give a more complete information on that matter.

    Best regards

    Marie Delaperrière

  3. Careen Boers says:

    This group should contact Aveda – i have used their Blue Malva shampoo for years. I recycle the bottles but if they had one " refill" station in each big city. I would refill my Aveda shampoo bottle and not get a new one! Careen Boers

  4. says:

    Great concept! I wish that kind of waste free store in my country, too! People have to think about their footprint over the environment and start reducing their level of waste and rubbish. But first, we have to start thinking, not just consuming.. Greetings, Rubbish Removal Tooting Ltd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Stop Plastic Pollution