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America’s First Packaging-Free Grocery Store Coming Soon

Americans throw away 1.4 billion pounds of trash every day, 40 percent of which is packaging that's only used once. One grocery store is hoping to change that.


Americans throw away 1.4 billion pounds of trash every day, 40 percent of which is packaging that’s only used once. Austin, Texas’s newest grocery store is hoping to change that.

in.gredients is the first packaging-free grocery store in the country, set to open in Austin in October. That means no plastic tubs, no cardboard boxes and no jugs of milk. Instead, customers are asked to bring their own containers, though some plastic bags will be provided for impromptu trips or in place of forgotten containers.

Cut The Junk

The store will sell almost everything a normal grocery store sells, like milk, bread, eggs, produce, and even beer and cleaning supplies. But it will not sell junk food.

“We care about the health of our customers and our local food economy,” co-founder Christian Lane says. “We’re prioritizing ‘reduce, reuse, then recycle’ and maximizing farmer revenue. We want this to be a fun and insightful experience for everyone, and hope this can springboard new ideas about how we can make grocery shopping even more sustainable.”

Greening L.A.

Before then, however, some other packaging prevention measures will go into effect.

Los Angeles County’s ban on plastic grocery bags began July 1, affecting 1.1 million people in unincorporated areas of the county. Big grocery stores must eliminate plastic bags now, while smaller stores have until July 2012 to phase them out.

Read More:

  • America’s First Zero-Packaging Grocery Store To Open In Austin (Time)
  • Ban on plastic grocery bags goes into effect July 1 (Los Angeles Times)
Carrie Schedler

Carrie Schedler is a senior at Indiana University studying journalism, English and French. She's originally from Columbus, Ohio, and still dreams often about salty caramel ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and baguettes from her semester abroad in Paris. Hopefully, she'll learn how to cook eventually.

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