The Zero Waste Lifestyle

Unpackaged grocery isn’t new but it’s becoming popular in Germany, very popular!

Have you ever wondered why a cucumber is shrink-wrapped in plastic? Why bananas are pre-packed in an extra plastic bag and why apples come in a polystyrene punnet? Are you confused about how to recycle all the different types of packaging material that your products come wrapped in?

While these questions are among the most important social issues in Germany, at the same time, Germans are among the frontrunners in the EU when it comes to producing garbage–671Kg per person annually.

Nobody really wants packaging, wrappers and boxes but we produce more and more and the mountains of rubbish are growing fast. While in the good old days we bought our meat, bread, and veggies lose, i.e. without pre-packaging, today we get everything double and triple wrapped. No wonder that a counter-movement is in full swing.

While such a counter-movement seems obvious and necessary there are, as always, factors which are pushing in the opposite direction. For example, many people complain that unpackaged food fails to meet hygiene standards. But, did unpackaged food draw this complaint over countless generations in the past? No.

Luckily, a trend is beginning where small supermarkets open their doors everywhere and their concept is: unpackaged shopping. Fruit, veggies, rice, pasta, olive oil, washing powder… all without any packaging!

As a customer you can either provide your own bags, bottles, tubs and bowls or the supermarkets will sell the produce in reusable material or boxes. Admittedly you have to plan your shopping trips better and more flexibility is needed, but German shoppers are surprisingly ready to go this way.

To be honest who wants the green capsicum in the pre-wrapped three-colour-combination of red/yellow/green capsicums anyway…?  😉

Here are several links to supermarkets:

Source: Copyright image: Grit Beyer


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