Tassie became disposable plastic bag free on 1 November 2013, so thinking about packaging isn’t new. It is great to see people shopping with their booty of re-usable bags; although initially This Girl did find it a challenge to remember to take them with me, so purchasing new bags was a regular occurrence. I now have a system that works for me – most of the time!
Some people are taking the BYO bag a step further. There are groups dedicated to becoming no/low waste consumers. Turning their backs on the pre-packaged conveniences and making choices to lessen the waste they are sending to landfill.
Unpacked is a shop dedicated to this cause. You will not find plastic bags to use, the whole concept it to bring your own containers and fill with the products that you want.
The process is simple, you weight your containers on enter and print out a sticker that gives theweight of your container. This weight is deducted from the total weight of your product when you go to pay at the register.
Once you’ve weighed your containers, you’re faced with the plentiful choices on offer of bulk goods. Pasta, quinoa, rice, many types of flours, honey, dried fruits, nuts, spices, dried herbs, fresh fruit, dairy and vegan dairy goods; they even sell shampoo, conditioner and washing powder and liquid.
This Girl is especially keen to try the natural food colourings!
Bulk doesn’t mean you need to buy in huge quantities, in fact it gives you control of how much of a product you purchase. You’re not forced to buy 500g when all you need is 150g. Although if you do like stocking up, you can do that too!
Don’t fear if you get there and have not bought enough containers for what you want, Unpacked sell pre-weighed and labelled jars and bottles for you to purchase.
Sometimes you may even find some goodies on offer for free at the entrance, when we were there recently they had a basket of onions that had started sprouting for people to take if they had a use for them.
Tip – use the pens scattered around the store to write the code or product name on your sticker – it makes it so much easier at the till and at home.
Unpacked has a café also where you can sit and enjoy a cuppa and a healthy treat where you have choices that are refined sugar free and/or raw. The Two Girls tried their Carrot Cake and Cranberry Slice when we were there recently.
You’ll notice that not everything is ‘unpacked’ at Unpacked but they certainly do have many less pre-packaged products.
Unpacked is welcoming, light, bright and clean. It gives you control over how much you buy and where your products come from, each of their bulk bins tells you what country or region it was sourced from.
On our visit the Other Girl bought three types of lentils; red and French style black and green plus some macadamia nuts and pecans to keep in the freezer to make cakes with or add texture to salads. This Girl bought shredded coconut, plain and wholemeal cake flour, quinoa and oats.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for what they have in store.
Unpacked is located at 45 Channel Hway, Kingston, with convenient parking out the back.