Let’s admit, if we had to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag at the supermarket check-out counter, we would gladly pay it.
After all, what’s 5 cents if it brings a whole deal of convenience for you. For most mothers, a plastic bag is used for more than just carrying their groceries home, it’s used to dispose our trash as well.
In fact, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor mentioned on Tuesday (March 6), that “Imposing a charge or ban on disposable plastic bags and substituting them with other types of disposable bags is unlikely to improve environmental outcomes.”
However, plastic is one of the biggest contributor to global trash problem. Every type of disposable bag, be it a bio-degradable bag or a paper bag, affects the environment through carbon emissions which worsens global warming.
The zero-waste movement is really picking up traction in Singapore, as it should since we claim that we’re a “Clean and Green City”.
There’s a growing community of eco-conscious warriors that are actively acting on reducing waste, avoiding food packaging etc.
Here’s another reason for you to join the zero waste camp – UnPackt is Singapore’s first grocery store where goods will be sold without any packaging.
Saving The Earth One Plastic At A Time
In most supermarket chains across Europe, bringing your own bags for your groceries is a cultural norm. If you don’t bring your own bags, you’ll either end up carrying everything or paying for each bag as you leave the grocery.
UnPackt is the first of its kind in Singapore, where customers are expected to bring their own reusable package to bag their food items and sundries.
It’s a social enterprise that aims to spread the zero waste message and make packaging free shopping more accessible across Singapore.
Before going about your shopping, you will have to weigh your containers, jars or bottles on a weighing scale provided so that the weight can be noted down and excluded from your total bill.
After filling up your containers with food, you will have to weigh your containers again at the counter before making payment.
This encourages customers to head down with a “shopping list” in mind so as to curb impulse purchases and reduce waste.
As a start, the store will be selling healthier food options such as rice with lower glycemic index, organic pasta and superfood powders dispensed in large self-serve gravity bins to minimise individual packaging.
Goods will also be priced lower than regular high street items since they are packaging free after all.
They aim to expand the store offerings with consumer items such as body wash, shampoos and even stainless steel, making it the one-stop shop for green and sustainable living.
Once UnPackt is operationally stable, it aims to hire full time staff, with a preference for single mother and senior citizens.
The launch of UnPackt comes at a time when Singapore’s waste footprint has creeped into the mainstream consumer consciousness.
Just last year, it was reported that we produced more than 800 million kg worth of plastic waste – only 6% of which was recycled.
We can reduce plastic wastage if we all make the conscious effort to do so. Maybe hopping on to the zero waste camp is a brilliant decision at the end of the day.
Becoming eco conscious can start from simple daily things such as bringing your own takeaway containers and stainless steel straws. Tiny changes in our lifestyle can be cultivated into habits.
UnPackt is an amazing social enterprise that can hopefully move Singaporeans away from plastic wastage and being more eco-friendly.
Perhaps only then, will I believe that we’re truly a “Clean and Green City”.
UnPackt will open their doors Saturday, 5 May. Bring your own glass jars, containers and bottles and start on an eco-friendly, packaging free journey with them!
Address: 6 Jalan Kuras, Singapore 577724
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm, daily
(Header Image Source: Unpackt Facebook)