Berlin Has a Zero-Waste Grocery Store


Environmentally conscious consumers often have to make concessions when they hit the grocery store, where food comes wrapped in unnecessary packaging or served in economy-sized portions.

One German store is seeking to reinvent the food shopping experience. Located in Berlin, Original Unverpackt is a zero-waste grocer that sells food minus the packaging (or brand names, for that matter). The mostly organic selection is laid out in a way that lets customers get the exact quantity they need. At Original Unverpackt, you don't have to buy an entire pack of jalapeños if your recipe only calls for one. Fruits and vegetables are sold in bins, and liquids such as shampoo come in refillable bottles. For the most part, you're expected to provide your own containers, but there are some on sale if you forgot yours.

Although small, the store's shelves are stocked with 400 different products—an improvement over the 350 items available last year. (They also take requests.)

This progressive company is the brainchild of founders Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski. The duo used crowdfunding to get the company off the ground, and opened their store in a building that originally housed a 100-year-old butcher shop. So far, there are only four other grocery stores like it in Europe.

Now, Wolf and Glimbovski give tours and seminars to other business owners about their green philosophy. “It was important to act and to be part of the solution instead of just getting worked up about the predicted end of the world,” said Glimbovski.

[h/t: The Plaid Zebra]