This Zero-Waste Grocery Store Has Eliminated Plastic and Packaging, Shuns Big Brands


At this grocery store you can buy exactly what you need, thereby diminishing food waste.

This grocery store in Berlin, Germany is one of the most environmentally friendly shopping experiences you can have. Original Unverpackt (Original Unpacked in English), calls itself the world’s first zero-waste grocery store: There are no bags, packaging, or plastic of any kind.Instead, all of the store’s produce and products are distributed loose to customers, who bring their own reusable containers to shop with. Even the shampoo is squeezed out of a refillable communal container.

The grocery store officially opened in Berlin’s Friedrichshain Kreuzberg district (a neighborhood known for its counterculturual movement), a year ago, operating with the slogan, “Let’s be real, try something impossible.” Not only will you never find plastic packaging in Unverpackt’s spacious aisles, you also won’t be able to buy any brand names. Instead customers choose purchase organic products from local farms and artisans. Shoppers can buy exactly the amount they need, cutting down on food waste as well as inorganic garbage.

The concept was borne out of co-owners’ Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski’s ardent desire to do something about the monumental amount of food-related waste (16 million tons) produced in Germany every year, and hopefully make an impact on the carbon footprint worldwide.


Since Original Unvepackt’s opening, more zero-waste grocery stores have popped up, including Day by Day, a small grocery store chain that has opened in Northern France, operating under a similar waste-free premise. In May this year, France took it one step further by banning supermarket food waste entirely.