Local Talk

Unpackaged - how does this new concept no packaging shop work?

(3 Posts)
123feel Fri 25-Jan-13 11:42:34

So I went to Unpackaged for the first time last week - new concept shop where you can buy your larder essentials (Flour, sugar, chocolate buttons) in whatever quantities you want and to fill any container you want.

But how does it work and is it cheaper than getting these items in the regular containers?

Catherine the entrepreneur who set up the shop will be answering this question sometime today on this forum.

If you have a question for Catherine, please post it here and she'll be in touch and we can all get a greater insight into how it works.

CatherineUnpackaged Mon 28-Jan-13 10:24:54

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay in response..

So, the whole point of Unpackaged is to encourage customers to bring their own packaging and save more packaging from ending up in landfill or being incinerated. If you think about how long a modern piece of packaging is used for between the shop, your kitchen and a rubbish bin, it seems crazy to use valuable resources (oil, plastic, paper) for such a short life product. We also believe in healthy, nutritious fresh and wholefoods that don't need to be over packaged.

So - the thorny question of whether it's cheaper - this really needs a further question, cheaper than what? As an independent, we will never be able to compete on price with the average supermarket. However, in our experience a lot of the supermarkets place a premium on the goods we sell (tiny packets of ground almonds for baking?) so in actual fact, for a similar quality of goods, I think we're on a par with supermarkets and probably slightly cheaper than other independents. Once you start refilling (e.g. Ecover bottles) you're saving between 50p and £1 per refill which makes us much cheaper than other indepenedents but, really, we can't compete with the price of Ecover in Tesco.. but then you can't refill in Tesco.

In addition - the WI calculated that the hidden cost of packaging per average family per year in the UK was about £480, and the average family throws out about £450 worth of off food a year so - if you buy Unpackaged and only buy what you need at the time, then you're definitely saving money, even if it's not obvious at the time. You can read more about the wider value of what we're doing here: myzerowaste.com/2010/10/buy-unpackaged/ It's also a fascinating site about all forms of zero waste ideas.

I hope that's a nice intro to what we're trying to do and please do come visit. I'd be happy to answer any more questions here too!

Best,
Catherine

MonkeyD Thu 07-Mar-13 20:47:22

Great new store, lovely addition to the neighbourhood.

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