A few years ago, it seemed like only the crunchiest of eco-avengers were thinking about reusable bags on a regular basis to do their grocery shopping. Now, reusable bags are not just commonplace, but practically trendy. But are they enough? What if we could take waste reduction even farther? A new grocery store called In.gredients is trying to do just that. With plans to open in Austin, TX, by the end of the year, In.gredients is touting itself as the first ever package-free, zero waste grocery store in the United States.
“Truth be told, what’s normal in the grocery business isn’t healthy for consumers or the environment,” says In.gredients co-founder Christian Lane in a press release. “In addition to the unhealthiness associated with common food processing, nearly all the food we buy in the grocery store is packaged, leaving us no choice but to continue buying packaged food that’s not always reusable or recyclable. Our goal is to reduce waste and promote health by ditching packaged and overly processed food altogether - revolutionizing grocery shopping as we know it.”
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In.gredients is aiming to fight packaging head-on in a number of ways. Items would be sold primarily in bulk, container-free, or in light-as-possible packaging for items that require packaging for safety’s sake. The store will offer compostable containers for carrying wares home, but customers will be encouraged to bring in reusable containers of their own for that purpose. In.gredients also plans to trade in organic, all-natural, and local items whenever and wherever possible.
In.gredients is still in fundraising mode, but if all goes to plan it should open its doors in Austin by the end of 2011. We look forward to seeing how it will fare, and where the idea could spread from here.