British Columbia

Package-free grocery shopping coming to Vancouver

Many people bring reusable shopping bags to the supermarket, but one entrepreneur wants Vancouverites to take that one step further and bring their own containers.

Why stop at reusable shopping bags? Grab some reusable containers as well, says entrepreneur

Zero Waste Market's founder, Brianne Miller, says people are ready for the move toward package-free grocery shopping. (Zero Waste Market/Facebook)

Many people bring reusable shopping bags to the supermarket, but one entrepreneur wants Vancouverites to take that one step further and bring their own containers. 

Customers at Zero Waste Market buy groceries by filling their containers and bags with bulk items. The concept started as a series of pop-up stores last fall, and founder Brianne Miller hopes to open a brick-and-mortar business in Vancouver later this year.

People are ready for the move to package-free grocery shopping, Miller told CBC Radio's The Early Edition.

"[We are] working on plastic pollution by encouraging people to shop without plastic packaging and working with our suppliers to reduce food waste as well before products even arrive to us in the store," said Miller.

The pop-up stores sell dried goods like nuts, seeds and grains, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. The permenant location opening later this year will offer a wider range of products, including soap and conditioner, according to Miller.

Zero Waste Market would be Canada's first package-free grocery store.

'The response so far has been overwhelming'

Miller says the idea for a Zero Waste Market came to her while she was working as a marine biologist.

"I started to realize that many of the species that I was studying were impacted by marine pollution as a result of climate change and a lot of products that were ending up in the water."

Both customers and fellow grocery-store owners have supported her business idea, says Miller.

"We've had a lot of really wonderful advisors and mentors from different grocery chains throughout the city offer their advice to us."

She has set up her pop up shop five times so far, attracting more customers every time.

"We're talking to probably a couple of hundred people every time now and it's been great."

Zero Waste Market is hosting a pop up today, March 22 at the Patagonia store on West 4th Avenue.

With files from CBC Radio's The Early Edition

To listen to the full interview, click the link labelled: Zero Waste Market coming this fall.


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