An enterprising couple, Miena Glimbovski and Sara Wolf, intends to open Germany’s first packaging free supermarket.
This is just what this country needs because when it comes to sustainability, Germany is the leader. A country that has ambitious renewable energy goals and proves it with real efforts to reduce carbon pollution. Although grand green energy projects are initiated by the government, it also encourages entrepreneurs to do their part. The team of Wolf and Glimbovski is keen on getting in on the action.
The unique start-up came about when the duo of Wolf and Glimbovski became disillusioned with the waste consumer plastic packaging resulting from big supermarket shopping. They dropped out of university studies and started a project that will solve this growing problem. These two are not really experts in the food industry but are just concerned about the worsening situation and are willing to come up with their own solution. The result is their sustainable version of packaging free supermarket, the first to be introduced in Germany.
The problem with plastic packaging is that even if you use your own reusable shopping bags, the stuff that you will buy from the stores and groceries are all covered with non-reusable plastic. Glimbovski and Wolf developed their system which they call Original Unverpackt or OU. This system uses absolutely no disposable packaging. Bulk items such as pasta, cereal and beans are dispensed from gravity storage receptacles.
When getting these food items or any item from the storage bins, the customer presses a handle and allows his desired amount of items to fall into his own container or packaging which he brought from home. Shoppers don’t have to use scoops, nor touch the foodstuffs. Cross contamination is therefore avoided and each shopper gets clean and unspoiled item each time he shops in the packaging free supermarket.
This project has been in the development stage for two years. A tremendously successful crowd-funding has led the two to push their project into its final stages. And now Germany has the opportunity to taste the success of this sustainability-inspired program.
Glimbovski and Wolf hope that this will be the start of a clean shopping revolution that will not only involve this country but all nations around the world. If that happens, there will be millions of tons of plastic wrappers and packaging materials that will not be allowed to see the light of day.
Original Unverpackt is slated to open in Berlin’s Friedrichshain Kreuzberg district. The store will sell food that will mostly come from local sources. This will reduce the cost of shipping and pollution. The supermarket will offer organic foods, medium priced and low cost items, as well as non-food items such as cleaning and cosmetic products. It will be a “Zero Waste” system that the team will implement in every aspect of their operations. Customers need to bring their own containers when they shop at the supermarket. They can also borrow reusable containers if they need to or used bags made from recycled paper to reduce wastage.