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article imagePackage-free, zero-waste grocery store to open in Austin, TX

By Lynn Herrmann     Jun 28, 2011 in Food
Austin - An Austin-based company has announced plans to become the nation’s first package-free, zero-waste grocery store, “revolutionizing” the grocery shopping experience by allowing customers to bring their own reusable containers to be filled in-store.
“Truth be told, what’s normal in the grocery business isn’t healthy for consumers or the environment, in.gredients co-founder Christian Lane said in a press release (pdf). “In addition to the unhealthiness associated with common food processing, nearly all the food we buy in the grocery store is packaged, leaving us no choice but to continue buying packaged food that’s not always reusable or recyclable.”
The grocery store is being started by Brothers Lane, LLC, a small company owned by Christian, Patrick, and Joseph Lane, three brothers who have previously started and managed successful software and sustainability businesses.
Along with “brother-in-spirit” Christopher Pepe, the group came up with a concept so simple, one wonders why it hasn’t been tried in the US before now. A similar concept opened last year in the UK, with Unpackaged offering a bulk food-only shopping experience, Good Food reports.
Each day, Americans discard almost 570 million pounds of food packaging which ends up in landfills across the country. Adding to the problem, pre-packaged foods force customers to buy more than they need. As a result, Americans throw away around 27 percent of food brought into their kitchens.
“Our goal is to reduce waste and promote health by ditching packaged and overly processed food altogether - revolutionizing grocery shopping as we know it,” Lane added.
The group notes package-free and zero-waste is a new frontier in the grocery industry and calls themselves “pioneers on a relatively untravelled trail.” As such, they will be seeking input and accountability from their customer base.
Promising to carry organic food whenever possible, in.gredients will source much of its food supply locally, helping stimulate the local economy and reducing transportation and energy costs linked with shipping food from region to region.
in.gredients will sell seasonal produce, grains, spices, baking ingredients, coffees/teas, meats, dairy, beer, wine and household cleaners, with an emphasis on organic and all-natural products.
While the company is actively seeking investors, in.gredients plans to open this fall at an East Austin location.
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