Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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'No packaging' shopping

Buy things, but with no packaging
  [vote for,

I'm appalled at how much stuff my family throws away, particularly plastics. In part this is due to the UK's rather lax attitude towards recycling anything at all, but I would much rather not buy a chunky plastic container every single time I buy, for example, a couple of kilos of dishwasher powder.
Ideally (and this is the idea - thank you for waiting) I would take any old container along to the supermarket, stick the funnel marked 'dishwasher powder' in it and get a measured amount of dishwasher powder dispensed. I would also be given a sticky label with all the usual writing and barcode on for the checkout to scan.
hippo, Mar 29 2003

Restore rebounds with Refill Stations http://twincities.b.../06/24/smallb1.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Lush soaps and cosmetics http://www2.lush.co...dex.html?lang=en_US
The product sells itself, without packaging. They do wrap your purchase after you buy it, though. [FloridaManatee, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Yep. I've always thought plastic could be a great ecological boon for the same reason it's wasteful - it doesn't go away. I've considered this very application, detergent, because, really, you only need one container for the rest of your life - just fill it up when it gets low.   

       Obviously, this won't happen until someone figures out a way to make money from it.
snarfyguy, Mar 29 2003

       Yes, and as reported in the link, it's not easy to make money from it. Over here, some stores refill with some products (usually generic).
FarmerJohn, Mar 29 2003

       oye thats mine - give it here. <one bloody nose>
po, Mar 29 2003

       Packaging reduction and recycling has been largely successful in Canada and the US over the last decade. <sparing the gory details> I think this idea can be made profitable. (+)
Shz, Mar 29 2003

       I brought a bag of cat litter today that came with a handle. The shop insisted that I put it in a bag so the security didn't think I was shoplifting.
sufc, Mar 29 2003

       Deja vu: didn't someone else just do this one?   

       Anyway, this is *exactly* how all goods were sold two, three hundred years ago.
DrCurry, Mar 29 2003

       I seem to recall that [UnaBubba] makes a point of returning excess packaging to the checkout clerk, and I recently started doing likewise. I buy catfood tins wrapped in eights, remove the wrapping at the checkout, and hand it to the drone with a polite smile. The expression of total incomprehension is reward enough.
angel, Apr 03 2003

       Also, baked in much of the developed world. Note German street markets. Just not widespread everywhere.
kevindimie, Apr 03 2003

       Body shop used to do this for their cosmetics, potions and lotions. Don't know if they still do.
goff, Apr 03 2003

       Lots of places do this, my local Co Op for one. Take in your empty bottle (or any bottle), fill it up from the store, and pay by the pound.   

       If you think about it, lots of places do this. Gas Stations come to mind; you don't buy gas in disposible containers. Propane too, so it isn't a question of making money from it; people just have to think more when they go shopping, and not expect everything to be provided for them when they get there.   

       And that's why it may not become a reality; people don't think, and they don't like to be responsible. They like to be taken care of.
eion, Apr 03 2003

       Yes [goff] you are right. Baked along time ago in the UK by 'The Body Shop'. But no-one could be bothered to take their plastic bottles back and just bought a new one. I think a heavy Tax on packaging is the only solution. (Then we can all buy cheap illegally imported packaging from eastern europe.)
nichpo, Aug 01 2003

       angel, are those 8 packs cheaper? I buy them because I can sling them into a carrier bag in one go. as you can imagine most of my weekly shop is pet food. if you give the 8 pack packaging back to the cashier - are you then buying them singly and more expensively or do you pay and then return the packaging? sorry that was a long-winded question.
po, Aug 01 2003

       You could compare it to going to our local "fancy" grocery store. They have bins and bins of dry goods and you pull the lever and drop it into a bag and then pay by the pound. Seems you could do the same with anything. Except if you were hiding expensive items inside the detergent.
crispee, Aug 01 2003

       yes. [hippo] have a croissant, plain, simple, sans bag.
neilp, Aug 01 2003

       The self-service food market (Piggly Wiggly) came about as a consequence of inexpensive packaging technologies. It made it possible a store to serve many customers simultaneously with only one or two people on staff.   

       Certain products are usefully sold in bulk. In many cases, however, shifting to bulk sales of products would increase labor costs more than it would reduce packaging costs.   

       Another point to consider: if there are any impurities inside a factory-sealed package, there's little question how they got there. On the other hand, if someone takes to the store a bottle that hasn't been well-cleaned, fills it with product, and then gets sick from that product, who's at fault? How would anyone know?
supercat, Aug 01 2003

       [po]: Second option (pay, then return packaging).
angel, Aug 02 2003

       The food co-op in my town sells dry goods in bulk like this. It works fine!
submitinkmonkey, Mar 16 2005


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