In the march towards the elimination of single-use plastic and unnecessary packaging, zero waste refilleries are popping up all over the USA.
At Maison Jar – an innovative new grocery store in Brooklyn, New York City – silos of dry goods line one wall. Dried beans, grains, pasta, nuts, and coffee are beside bins of cooking staples like flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. A refrigerator on the wall opposite holds industrial-sized jars of olives, racks of eggs, and metal trays of fresh produce, and a freezer is stocked with plastic bins of frozen fruit and vegetables. Prepared snacks like dried mangos, wasabi peas, gummy bears, and chocolate-covered nuts fill glass jugs on the center tables.
The back of the store has shelves of metal dispensers filled with oil and liquid condiments – like soy sauce and vinegar – glass jars of loose spices, and a table of multi-gallon pump bottles of laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, and other personal care products. Each of these large containers indicates the price per pound of the product inside, as well as its ingredients and origins – and, mostly notably, there is no packaging in sight. Customers come to the store toting their own containers and cloth produce bags.
Maison Jar is one of many zero-waste refilleries that have popped up in every state across the country where customers can use their own vessels to fill with goods by selecting from pre-weighed, pre-packaged bulk products. No single use plastic anywhere!