Original Unverpackt, a supermarket in Berlin, has introduced a new no-packaging concept in shopping.
When you arrive at the supermarket with your own containers, it will be weighed. Once you have completed your shopping, the containers are weighed again and the original weight deducted. The balance in weight is the net weight of your purchases and what you are liable for. Your containers are labeled upon your arrival and these are wash-proof for a few washes, which implies that you do not have to have it weighed on each visit to the store.
Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski, the founders of the store, say that people are constantly looking for more sustainable living opportunities. At their store, the customer takes what they need only, and is not faced with rows upon rows of different types of olive oil or body lotion.
The concept is not new and has already been used in Austin, Texas by In.Gredients and in London by Unpackaged.
During 2011, the UK produced around 11m tons of packaging waste, yet companies continue to sell pre-peeled, packaged bananas.
There are several views on this concept versus the supermarket chain pre-packaged foods. In Brighton, hiSbe offers an unpackaged section within its traditional supermarket. It places emphasis on products that are sourced locally and price transparency. The shopper is fully aware of how much of the asking price goes towards the supplier, wages etc. Their aim is to normalize sustainable, ethical shopping.
Unfortunately, the one side effect of sustainable business is that it does not matter what the reason behind it is, the bottom line is to make a profit.
22 SEPTEMBER 2014, Germany
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