Reducing Grocery Waste

By JANAYA WILDER, Kid Reporter, age 12

In.gredients will have different types of food for sale without the packaging. Photo:
A new store, in.gredients, will sell foods without the packaging. Photo:

Every year, landfills around the country receive millions of tons of waste. Almost half of that waste is packaging: the plastic, cardboard, and Styrofoam used to wrap store-bought products like food. But a new grocery store in Austin, Texas, is going to sell food without the packaging. The store is called in.gredients. It will sell organic rice, spices, tea leaves, coffee beans, nuts and dried fruits, sugar and flour, milk, eggs, cheese, vegetables and meats. No packaging means less waste goes to the landfill.

How can you buy food without packaging? First, you bring your own food containers from home. Next, you weigh your empty containers, and then fill your containers with the food items that you choose. You take your filled containers to the counter and pay for the food items by weight. When you check out, you can also select a charity you would like to benefit with a portion of your purchase.

Buying food with no packaging means not only less to throw away, it means less to recycle too. That’s important because research shows that many people don’t check to see if packaging is recyclable. Jonathan Asher of Perception Research Services says that shoppers think manufacturers should “provide products and packaging that they can feel good about” when it comes to protecting the environment. And that’s just what in.gredients hopes to do. Even though the store is not yet open, the store owners are hosting events that give the Austin community something to feel good about in the meantime, including a volunteer day, an open house and a Halloween costume party.

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