If excess packaging and food waste drives you crazy, a new environmentally friendly concept about to launch in Cork could be the perfect alternative to your regular supermarket.
Shockingly, Ireland, per head of population, is among the highest waste producers in Europe. Our waste every year would fill Croke Park to the top of the stands.
Soon there’ll be a handy way to help stem the flow into our landfills; ECO Zero-Waste Market will sell bulk food items, household products, cosmetics, toiletries and cleaners 100 percent packaging free. Receipts will be paperless, all supplier packaging will be reusable and all surplus food will be donated to good causes.
Homemade nut butters and fresh juices will be available daily, with beans and seeds, various flours for baking and a selection of dried fruits and teas (even Barry’s Tea!) available in whatever quantity the customer needs.
The business is the brainchild of Kimberley McIntosh, who was raised in Canada and moved back to Ireland in 2015.
The mum-of-two describes herself as “a vegan tree hugger at heart” and started channeling her passion for the earth into a more minimalist way of life two years ago when she moved to Youghal.
“I moved into a holiday home which had no way of us composting our food waste.” Kimberley says. “We found a local market that allowed us to bring our food waste to their compost bins weekly and thus began our journey.”
Kimberley is working with Irish suppliers, distributors, artisan food producers and local farmers on everything from the store’s food items to the gravity food dispensers and computer software systems. ECO Zero-Waste Market will also donate one percent of profits to local non-profit organisations with a focus on food education, marine and coastal conservation.
From bamboo toothbrushes and zero-waste toothpaste to the ingredients for a curry for one, the shop will offer all the good stuff you need in whatever quantity you need it in.
So how will it work?
- Step 1: Place any empty container on the scale. It will give you a tare weight (the weight of your empty container). Simply write this weight directly on the container.
- Step 2: Fill your container(s) with desired product
- Step 3: Weigh the container again now that it has been filled.
- Step 4: Label your container
- Step 5: Pay
But what if you forget your containers? No problem! You’ll be able to buy a reusable container in-store or use the Jar Rental Scheme.
The shop will also stock hard-to-find DIY ingredients for products you can make at home, as well as providing a hub for lessons in how to adopt a greener lifestyle.
A healthier diet, a fun grocery shop and an empty recycling bin? Count us in.
Kim has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help with some of her start-up costs.