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emily*

That looks great, by why does it have to be such a novelty thing? They've been selling food without packaging in Canada (and so I assume likewise the States) forever, and still as regularly today. In every supermarket there is what's called a "bulk" section, where there are huge vats of every dried product you can think of, and wet ones too! Honey, jam, peanut butter and cooking oils are all dispensed from big tubs. When I was living there I found this very handy because it meant I could buy a very small amount of something, which was especially useful over there where the standard size package tend to be a lot bigger. So contrary to what the name suggested, I used the bulk section for buying in miniature!
Its not true that Ecover don't provide large vats of washing up liquid, I've used them in a few Organic/health food shops including my local in Lower Clapton, so they've no real excuse there.
Ultimately though I agree, the problem lies in the cost. The fill-your-own Ecover needs to be cheaper than the pre-package version in the supermarket, and currently that is not the case.

Jay

Its quite a good organic shop, that one in Lower Clapton. It tends not to shout the 'organic message' too much in your face. Which is a nice change...

Andrea

They used to have them in communist romania too, just because bulk was cheaper!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22574002@N04/2172792811/

UorP.

They have the e-cover refilling thing nationwide afaik, and fruit and veg shops have been selling 'unpackaged' forever, only the pick and mix thing sounds innovative (and even then that's a very small i).

I wonder just how much packaging they are really saving, a packet of flour is just a single piece of paper for instance. It seems a lot of effort when a whole year's worth of shopping might be negated by buying a single newspaper, or losing a box etc.

minxlj

There are no Ecover refilling shops near me, which is a huge shame. Plus my local council is shamefully bad at providing recycling for plastics (I am currently badgering them!)

I love the idea of unpackaged goods - and I'm a graphic designer, so I'm kind of doing myself out of work here :-) But I HATE going shopping and having the packaging mount up, especially plastics. Local fruit and veg shops aren't open at the times I have to go shopping (I only have Sundays free, and guess when the shops close? argh!) so I'd love to see a shop perhaps doing a 6pm-10pm weekday shift...that's the only way they'd tackle the convenience of a supermarket for busy people like myself.

On a side note, the shop above looks so much more interesting than rows and rows of packaging. And it makes me hungry just looking at it!

Emily Wilkinson

Really interesting how you thought it was greenwash at first and how greenwash doesn't have to relate to big brands. We've just published a report on greenwash - download it at www.futerra.co.uk!

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