As innovative zero waste products become more popular, we are starting to see more zero waste stores and markets pop up across Canada. Having access to zero waste stores makes it easier for consumers to avoid unnecessary single-use packaging and minimize their environmental footprint.
The amount of waste we produce as a society increases every day. In Canada, approximately 1.1 million tonnes of food waste (the equivalent of 5,500 blue whales) ends up in the landfill every year, with 72 percent of this coming from the wholesale and retail sectors. Not only do the products we purchase have a huge impact on the health of our planet, but so does the way we shop.
Zero waste stores sell sustainable, eco-friendly, plastic-free products to encourage a minimalist and low-impact lifestyle. Zero waste stores feature package-free bulk foods, soaps, household items, locally made products, and sustainable alternatives to everyday items, like bamboo toothbrushes and stainless-steel straws. To reduce the use of packaging, zero waste stores promote a BYOC (bring your own container) program. All you have to do is simply bring your own containers and shopping bags, fill them up with goodies, weigh them, and checkout. Don’t worry if you forget to bring your own containers or bags, you can purchase reusable glass jars in store and most have biodegradable paper bags available as well.
Going zero waste is easier than you think, it just requires a bit of planning. If you’re located in Ontario, check out these zero waste stores and start doing your part to reduce our collective use of unnecessary packaging.