In.gredients is a plastic-free based grocery store up in Austin, TX. This zero waste market is making waves in hopes for a more sustainable tomorrow. This grocery store allows the use of mason jars and other reusable Tupperware to shop in bulk by encouraging you to bring your own containers to fill up and continue reusing them. Since opening in 2012 they have kept 99% of their materials from ending up at the landfill and have contributed no food waste. Not only does In.gredients promote local food by keeping their store contents stocked by local farmers but they also host local musicians along with events throughout each month and even have a day where volunteers can get their hands dirty in the garden!
If you are wondering how you check out, it is much like buying bulk items at Kroger, as In.gredients has a high tech tare system equipped with a scale attached to a computer, monitor, and label printer but since you are using containers with their own various sizes and weight differences their computers are capable of automatically deducting the weight of the container you are choosing to use. In.gredients has a wide variety of products and everything can go into a reusable container such as herbs, spices, teas, nuts, grains, beans, pasta, oils and other “wet” foods, personal care products, soaps and cleaners.
At most stores the products delivered to the store come in disposable plastic bags, In.gredients is changing that because their out sources are local they are able to encourage their vendors to deliver products in reusable, returnable containers which after emptied are exchanged with the vendor the next delivery. In.gredients is not completely plastic or non reusable packing free, about 80% of their products are available in bulk, but they do have some packaged local products that are not available without packaging. Meat and dairy still arrive in plastic or non reusable packaging since they don’t have a butcher counter or a local dairy that bottles in returnable glass.
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In.gredients might be making some small concessions by offering a few plastic bags and containers, but their overall focus is to wean people off those things. They aspire to educate their customers on waste reduction and they choose to lead by example in hopes for other grocery stores to move in a more green environmentally friendly direction.