"Unpackaged" Market: Bring Your Own Packaging


Unpackaged was founded in 2006 by Catherine Conway in the belief that there is a better way to sell food. We want to make it easy for our customers to do the right thing – the right thing for themselves and for the environment. The market is located at: 42 Amwell Street

London, United Kingdom, EC1R 1XT

Unpackaged is a unique and brilliant concept that is so simple it hurts, especially considering the sheer amount of packaging waste that is ridiculously filling our planet’s landfill sites. Within the beautifully designed shop, organic whole foods, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, even refillable oils, vinegars and wines are all available to place straight into your own containers, that you will have brought along with you … if you haven’t then reusable bags are available.

How it works

1- Remember to bring your containers* from home 2- Come to Unpackaged and say hello 3 - Choose the product and amount you want 4 - Take your goods home in your own containers (if you forget, we have reusable bags) 5 - When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!

Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.

Why Packaging?

It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short life products and then just dumping them back into the ground. It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, its just so last century. (Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21 2005)

The Problem with Packaging

Whilst some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, unnecessary packaging is a waste:

Cost: Unnecessary packaging increases the price of the goods you buy. It means you are charged twice; first when you buy over packaged goods and then through your council tax to dispose of your rubbish.

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.

Source: beunpackaged.com

Manuel Martinez

Project GreenBag, 2200 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, United States