Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by C. Spahrbier

Zero waste shopping on the rise in Europe

The number of supermarkets in Europe minimising packaging is continuing to rise. Several European cities are now offering people a greener way to shop. Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski are about to open their first zero waste store Original Unverpackt in Berlin, Germany. With the help of a crowd-funding campaign, Original Unverpackt has received enormous public support and has raised over €100,000, exceeding its initial target of €45,000.

Image courtesy of socialimpactfinance.startnext.de/original-unverpackt

Image courtesy of socialimpactfinance.startnext.de/original-unverpackt

The idea of the store is simple. All food is provided unpackaged and stored in so called bulk-bins. Customers can bring their own containers, reducing the amount of disposable packaging. If customers forget to bring containers, they can borrow multi-use ones from the store, or make use of recycled paper bags. The store also aims to provide locally-produced products in order to reduce its transportation footprint. According to Milena Glimbovski, “We need a shopping revolution. We need to move away from wasteful single-use packaging, and instead make zero-waste and unpackaged food available for everyone”.

Initiatives like zero waste supermarkets raise awareness of ways to minimise waste and encourage change in everyday behaviour in order to reduce the amount of waste produced across Europe. Even the smallest changes in daily lives can make a big difference in our local environment. Waste production and management is one of twelve environmental indicator areas assessed as part of the European Green Capital Award.