Within the next year, Austin, Texas, could be home to In.gredients, a grocery store that eliminates the paper and plastic containers that most food comes in. Instead, the zero-packaging store will offer most of its wares in bulk bins. (Some products will be “packaging-light” instead, with recyclable containers.) Customers can bring their own boxes and bottles or borrow compostable ones from the store, weigh them, and fill them with goodies. This includes beer (bring your own growler!) and cleaning products.
It’s a return to a simpler time, when our grandparents got along just fine without resealable plastic freshness packs, and there was a hell of a lot less trash around. As the company points out in, 40 percent of landfill waste in the U.S. is packaging that's used one time. And In.gredients is aiming for sustainability in other ways: Products are local and organic or all-natural.
Even if you’re not a hippie, there’s something in those bulk bins for you. In.gredients says its model makes food more affordable, because customers aren't paying for the packaging (and by extension the marketing and branding). As the price of the food itself continues to rise, it’s nice to get to skip the accessorizing. Also, your kitchen will look so much more fashionable with shelves lined with Mason jars full of adzuki beans — very retro chic!