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:

6X PLASTIC FREE GUIDES

This month marks the 5th edition of the Plastic Diet Challenge in the Netherlands. Each week, we reveive tips and tricks how to avoid and reduce single-use plastics. Refilling your water bottle is one step, but there are many other products to tackle. Just look at your fridge or cosmetics. We love plastic-free tips & tricks. In today’s blog, we highlight a couple of interesting platforms and guides. 

1. TRAVEL WITHOUT PLASTIC

The Travel Without Plastic founder Jo Hendricx and her team created ‘Let’s Reduce Single-Use‘, a Toolkit to help hotels and accommodation providers reduce or eliminate single-use plastics and providing practical, affordable recommendations. Besides the toolkit, they offer a “Plastic Reduction Guide”, workshops and personalised support. Furthermore Travel Without Plastic has inspiring blogs and reports.

Travel Without Plastic

​ 2. HET ZERO WASTE PROJECT

Dutch Sisters Nicky and Jesse Kroon live a zero-waste lifestyle. Step by step they managed to eliminate their waste stream, using the 5R-principle: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. They wrote the practical book “Het Zero Waste Project” (in Dutch), opened their own sustainable lifestyle store called SMIR, maintain a blog, and keep an online overview of ‘bulk stores‘ in the Netherlands.

Het Zero Waste Project

3. SLO ACTIVE

This luxury swim wear brand recently updated their guide, titled Plastic Pollution: Single-Use Plastic Impact on our Oceans. It’s comprehensive, intensely detailing the facts and figures of plastic pollution, the impact on our oceans and marine life. The brand is inspired by the slow movement.

4. BETTER PLACES

Better Places is a sustainable travel agency. Practical tips and tricks how to avoid plastics, eat vegetarian and susainable hotels can be found on their website for each country in their portfolio (in Dutch).

Image: Better Places

5. MYPLASTICFREELIFE.COM

100 steps to a plastic-free life. Wow! This inspiring woman, Beth Terry, has been blogging for more than ten years and researching plastic-free alternatives (see her ongoing Plastic-Free Guide). She also enjoys reviewing alternative products from ethical companies. 

6. CUSTOM EARTH PROMOS

Blogger Erin Pearson writes about simple lifestyle changes. Those small impacts can start to add up and make a difference. “These changes can be as simple as swapping one product on your next trip to the supermarket, choosing a responsible eco-friendly company over an oil-guzzling conglomerate, or simply reusing that coffee cup.” On the website Custom Earth Promos you find tips and tricks and a wide range of eco-friendly (packaging) products.

What is your favourite plastic free source?

There are hundreds of cool plastic free tips & tricks guides and zero-waste guru’s. We picked these 5 platforms, because we like them (we don’t receive commissions!). Please note we did not try to make a complete overview. Do you have another favourite plastic-free guide or guru? Leave your comment below.