In Belgium, we produce around 500 kg of household waste per inhabitant every year. Did you know that almost half of this is packaging waste? Our vegetables, fruit, pasta, meat and fish often come in plastic packaging, which we then throw in the bin. Every day, we produce an average of 1.5 kg of waste per person. The plastic is harmful to nature, animals and our health.
We have the solution for you! Go shopping at bulk stores or zero waste shops. Here you can buy healthy food and safe cleaning products without packaging.
The packaging of fruit and vegetables has a function: to prevent damage so that they stay fresh and tasty for longer. Especially when fruit and vegetables come from further away, this is necessary to prevent food waste. The shorter the chain, the less likely the food will be wasted along the way. Moreover, your food is also well protected if you fill your own jar at a zero waste shop.
With bulk stores, the distance between farmer and consumer is kept as short as possible. You can buy flour, pasta, rice, milk, butter, meat or wine from a farmer a few kilometres away. In this way, you also support farmers close to home and enjoy fresh healthy produce.
Organic fruit and vegetables are also often wrapped in plastic to avoid contamination from chemically sprayed crops. If you shop at a zero waste shop with only organic produce, you won't be bothered by this.
But in most cases, the packaging of your products is unnecessary and only serves convenience or marketing purposes.
In packaging-free shops, you can do your shopping for yourself or your family without throwing a lot of packaging in the bin afterwards. Even your beauty products come without packaging. You also combat food waste by not buying more than you need.
How does it work? Bring your own jars or bags and fill them in the shop. If you forget your jars or bags, you can often use recyclable paper bags in the shop itself or purchase empty jars and bottles.
Bulk stores and packaging-free shops often work with local suppliers, which reduces transport and therefore less CO2 into the air. So you have fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese and delicious wine, without creating waste. By choosing a packaging-free shop, you can cut your waste by half. Good for the environment, your health and the farmers.
Some packaging-free shops in a row
OHNE has stores in Aalst, Zwalm, Ternat, Ghent and Nevele. Here you can shop packaging-free, organic and local! The shops offer a wide range of organic food, as well as natural cosmetics and household products. For the organic fruit and vegetables range, they mainly work with local farmers. You will also find vegetarian and vegan products. Find your jars and shop waste-free! Moreover, you can make detergents on site at the vending machine.Have a look at OHNE!
MINIMAL's goal is to create a cleaner world with less plastic and waste. At the cosy MINIMAL bar, you can also enjoy a drink or a delicious piece of cake. You will find many different kinds of products such as bath and bedroom items, kitchenware, cosmetics, zero waste kits and clothing. Furthermore, you can also reduce packaging waste by using refillable eco products. Refill your bottle or goblet at one of the refill water bottles!Have a look at MINIMAL!
In Antwerp, you can shop packaging-free at Robuust. As the first packaging-free shop in Belgium, they know the ropes. Besides dry goods, you will also find organic vegetables, fruit and fresh products at Robuust. These are grown locally and are seasonal. Besides food, you will also find zero waste care products and various ecological household products for the bathroom and kitchen.Have a look at Robuust!
In Dendermonde, you can shop waste-free at Tarra Verpakkingsvrij. The shop's selection is mostly vegan and there are also many low-gluten options. Explore dry foods including nuts, pasta, rice, flour,... But also spices, tea and oil in refill stations. Besides the food on offer, you will also find zero waste grooming products at Tarra such as washable sanitary pads, shampoo bars as well as natural cleaning products and zero waste toilet paper without plastic packaging.Have a look at Tarra!
Para Ti is a fully automated shop that is always open. Moreover, the shop sells products from 45 local traders. So everything is fresh! How does it work? Download the Para Ti app on your smartphone. Next, register yourself and set up your payment method. Finally, you can shop to your heart's content by scanning the QR codes on the doors with the products you would like to purchase. It's that simple!Have a look on the website and download the app!
Get to know an online zero waste supermarket. Kudzu shows that there are many sustainable alternatives for everyday products whether you are looking for cosmetics, children's clothing, book bags, sustainable underwear, a sustainable razor blade, bamboo cutlery or oil for your bike, Kudzu is the place for you!
Kudzu truly lives and breathes sustainability: their packaging can be recycled or consists of recycled materials, and their website works with a green server.
Have a look at Kudzu!
Get out your jars, bottles and reusable bags and go zero waste shopping at one of the shops above!