Isn't it affirming when you see an idea you've had (but weren't sure about the viability of) put into action? Over in Clerkenwell, England a woman recently started a company called Unpackaged--which sells food and other necessitities, well, without the packaging. The idea is simple: You show up at the weekly market with your own containers, and fill them up to your heart's content. What's really cool is that in addition to the usual bulk offerings like beans, rice, nuts, teas, and grains, they've also found a way to sell package-free household cleaners, liquid hand soap, and toilet paper. So there IS a way--I knew it! I also love the section of their website titled "Evil Packaging", which is worth quoting extensively:
"The Problem with Packaging--Waste: Unnecessary packaging is a waste of resources at every level: to produce, store and transport, remove and to dispose of. Pollution: The two main methods of disposing of this packaging – landfill and incineration – are major pollutants for humans and the environment and release greenhouse gases. What about recycling? While some packaging is recycled, most ends up in landfill sites and some packaging is just difficult and often impossible to recycle. Recycling is certainly part of the solution, but it will only work if we use less packaging in the first place and adopt more reusable ways of doing things- it is this ethos of reuse that Unpackaged is based on."
Sigh...Why do all the cool things seem to be going on in the UK? Anyone interested in getting the idea going here? Hmm? In the meantime, remember, we've got a viable unpackaged option too: the bulk bins of your local health stores/Whole Foods. Just remember to bring your own produce bags, or reuse the plastic ones over and over...
Unpackaged (via Treehugger)