Why Can’t All Shops Be Unpackaged?

Again with the London, but the Unpackaged Shop in Clerkenwell, near Angel in Norf Landan (map, innit) is too brilliantly simple to not blog about it.

BenAnna are the most eco-aware buddies I have and they were really excited about showing me how Unpackaged at 42 Amwell Street, EC1R 1XT, works.

It’s so simple.  The shop offers lovely organic produce and instead of providing you with eco-friendly containers, they simply ask you to bring your own.  So Benanna arrived with old yoghurt and soup pots, a few used brown paper bags and they stocked up on pasta, rice, nuts and a few veggies.  It doesn’t matter what container you use, as long as the friendly staff can weigh it at their packed-full-of-delicious-homebaked-cakes-and-bread-nom counter.  And it’s not any more expensive than your regular organic produce you may find elsewhere.

Seriously.  Why can’t all shops be like this?  It’s so easy to do, like the whole plastic bag charge.  I don’t believe it’s an unreasonable request to have supermarkets cut out packaging – especially of fruit and veg – completely.

The supermarket that I think is one of the worst culprits is Marks & Spencers.  They’re no worse than Tescos in so far as packaging, but I would expect so much more from M&S.  They’re great for using organic/free range chicken and cutting out evil fats etc, so WHY do they insist on packaging their fruits in a plastic/styrofoam box which is wrapped in plastic and has a big shiny sticker on it?  They should be leading the way by example and cutting out all that unnecessary plastic etc, especially in their fruit and veg section.

Here are a few pics of Unpackaged.  More of this kind of thing, please.

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  1. amazing! I’ve wondered for ages why shops like this don’t exist, hurrah that one does…next we need one in dublin:)

  2. Hi Aoife – it’s great all right, and really simple. Fallon & Byrne are quite good as their fruit and veg are all loose and they use a lot of paper packaging, but they cold definitely go the extra step and let folk use their own soup cartons etc!

  3. Huzzah! What a marvelous idea – Tesco drives me NUTS the amount of packaging it uses. I do not need cling film around my broccoil, nor apples in a bag. Thank you.

    • I feel your frustration! It’s so annoying.

      • What a lovely spuirrse. I feel overwhelmed at seeing my shop in the top most viewed, when the talent and quality of the shops on Folksy is so amazing. Looking forward to spending another year with Folksy and all the lovely people here. Onwards and upwards for us all x

  4. The thing that gets on my tits the most is individually wrapped aubergines! absolute lunacy! although, I admit to being one of the cheeky nutters that unwraps over-packaged items at the checkout and leaved the rubbish for the supermarket to deal with. It’s an oddly satisfying act of rebellion. I always leave Sainsburys chuckling smugly.

  5. And funnily enough M&S are the only supermarket in the UK who charge for plastic bags (which is appalling, more promise breaking by Labour there), however I agree with Aoife, their fruit and veg especially is ridiculously over-packaged, more so that many other shops. Très inconsistent, non?

  6. Hear, hear! Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I used to go to a whole foods market where you could dish out your own grains, beans, flour etc. – best thing ever – I would *love* if we had something like this in Dublin.

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