Giving Compass' Take:

• Zero-waste grocery stores are coming to Canada, where products are available without packaging or plastic, and customers come with reusable bags to shop. 

• How will this movement help in the broader context of protecting the environment? What more needs to happen?

• Read about these seven wins in the fight against plastics. 

Canadian consumers could easily become more waste-conscious in coming years as the zero-waste markets trend spreads across the country. Vancouver’s first zero-waste grocery store, Nada, opened its doors in East Vancouver in June 2018, and now more zero-waste stores are popping up all over Canada.

"There's absolutely a huge demand for this type of shopping," Brianne Miller, founder and CEO of Nada told the Canadian Press. Publicly-raised funds helped Nada establish its storefront and showed that the community was invested in the idea.

Almost everything at Nada is available without plastic or packaging, in bulk. Customers bring their own reusable containers and purchase products according to weight. The zero-waste movement seems to be catching. On top of Nada in Vancouver, there’s Nu in Ottawa and Zero Waste Bulk in Waterloo. Canary Refillery and Zero Waste Market is set to open in February in Calgary, and Toronto’s first zero-waste market, Unboxed Market, is also coming soon.

“We’ve got a massive plastic packaging problem,” Barb Hetherington, a board member for Zero Waste Canada, told Global Citizen. “We’ve got so much packaging in the world that our recycling systems can’t handle it.”

The average person in North America or Western Europe consumes about 100 kilograms of plastic, and the bulk of that is due to packaging, according to Zero Waste Canada.

Hetherington argues that the zero-waste shopping experience not only reduces the amount of packaging that has to be manufactured and recycled, but because many of the stores sell in bulk, shoppers can purchase only what they need, which can help decrease food waste too.

That is why the organization is calling on the government to act on the plastic waste issue in Canada. Their plastics declaration outlines the actions they want to the government to take, including reducing single-use plastics, banning harmful plastics and increasing plastics standards.

Read the full article about no-waste grocery stores by Jackie Marchildon at Global Citizen