BULK STORE BRUSSEL – ZERO WASTE SHOP

Plastic packaging is a large and growing part of our daily household waste. There are many options to reduce your daily waste. A nice way is to shop at (plastic) packaging-free stores, also called bulk stores. The food is stored in large containers and you fill your own jars or bags. We visited De Bio Markt / Le Marché Bio des Tanneurs in Brussels, Belgium

DE BIO MARKT TANNEURS / LE MARCHÉ BIO DES TANNEURS, BRUSSELS

When entering the store, we immediately got excited. The building itself is very spacious with colourful wall paintings. First stop: the fuits and vegetables. Mainly organic and seasonal products, straight from the field!

plastic free shopping

The shopping continues with cheese and the (vegan) milk and yoghurt section. Then we arrive in the best part: the containers. Here you can find most basic ingredients: pasta, flower, rice, various nuts and seeds, all stored in large containers. We also love the oil refill corner and the herbs.

HOW TO SHOP IN A BULK STORE?

  1. Do I need to bring my own jars and bags? Visiting a bulk store works best with a little preparation. Bring your own jars, small bags or boxes and large shopping bag. But no worries, there are paper bags available in the store. For the (olive) oil you can make use of glass bottles.
  2. Glass jars are heavy. How is the price calculated? At the check-out, the weight of the jar is deducted from the total weight. Tip: if you bring your own glass jars, write down its weight with a permanent marker.
  3. Is everything in a bulk-store packaging-free? Not necessarily. In this store, some food is pre-packed, either in cardboard, glass or plastic. For example dairy products and honey. We even spotted 1.5 L single-use water bottles, which we found a bit strange. But overall, you can buy most stuff packaging-free. A huge improvement compared to regular supermarkets.
  4. Is it expensive? Well, this depends of course on the type of food that you buy. Many times you will save money, because you do not fill your basket on automatic-pilot. Plus it allows you to buy only the amount you need!

MORE BULK STORES IN BRUSSELS

The store we visited is located in the Huidevettersstraat 58 / rue des Tanneurs 58 in Brussels. They also have stores in Gent and Antwerpen. In this website, you can find a list of other packaging-free stores in Brussels.

ZERO WASTE INSPIRATION

We are looking forward to hear your experience with packaging free stores. Interested in this topic? Try one of the following reads:

PLASTIC-FREE HIGHLIGHTS IN SEVILLE

When travelling, you easily use a dozen single-use plastics per day. Coffee-cups to go, plastic bags, plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic toiletries, etc. Spain and single-use plastics go hand in hand. But there is light in the end of the tunnel. During our research trip in Seville we found some great plastic-free shops and restaurants. We’ll tell you all about it! 

OUR TOP-3 PICK

  1. El Jarillo Lata

This beautiful store has everything you need to carry food and beverages. Also a wide range of wooden toothbrushes, soaps and cloth diapers. The founder Sonia Sánchez explained us all about their product assortment and vision. Definitely worth a visit (check the opening hours first), as the neighbourhood is really nice too. Don’t miss out on Mercado de Feria, next door Palacio Marqueses de la Algaba, or the free Flamengo nights in Taberna Gonzalo Molina.

Located in the same street as El Jarillo Lata, this vegan restaurant has tasty vegan food that comes with a bonus: free chilled tap water. The water tap is connected to the beer tap’s cooling system. We’ve seen this in more bars and really like this. So don’t hesitate to ask for a cold glass or bottle refill. Water with gas is served in glass bottles.

Located in a cute market (Mercado del Arenal), this place has delicious cakes, pastries and main dishes. And lots of tea. You will not find any single-use plastic bottles here, Veganitessen is happy to provide you a fresh refill from the tap (self-service).

READY TO EXPLORE?

Our little plastic-free detour has brought us to some beautiful places outside the main attractions.  You can be part of the change. Fill your durable bottle when you leave the hotel. Ask for refills in the bar, restaurant or use a refill app to find the nearest refill point. Be pro-active and you can manage to travel without plastic bottles in Spain. Buena suerte.

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