Removing throw-away packaging from the shopping equation is a much better strategy than recycling. It's part of the 'reuse revolution'.
Zero-waste shops are starting to pop up all over the place, allowing customers to avoid throwaway packaging and instead bring along refillable containers to store their food. This is partly thanks to MIWA (short for Minimum Waste), a Czech company that provides the infrastructure for shops to adopt this type of retail model. It's good news for prices and the planet.
Dried goods are dispensed from refillable capsules, which are fitted with smart technology (radiofrequency ID tags, sensors and GPS tracking) to help retailers with automatic reordering and monitoring of stock through the supply chain.
MIWA describes itself as a complete business ecosystem for smart-powered reusable packaging - an ecosystem based on a clean and effective way of selling goods while minimizing packaging waste.
This is important because, every year, around 16 million tons of plastic packaging waste is generated in the EU, and only 30% gets recycled. Today, it's clear that recycling alone is no longer enough. Stopping the waste before it happens makes much more sense.
MIWA currently operates in four food stores in the Czech Republic and Switzerland, and has plans to expand into supermarkets in Germany and France.