Packaging-free grocery store in New Taipei offers new approach to waste reduction

Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers for food shopping

  2991
Eco-friendly 'Unpackaged.U' store in Sanchong, New Taipei (Photo from CNA)

Eco-friendly 'Unpackaged.U' store in Sanchong, New Taipei (Photo from CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – “Unpackaged.U,” a packaging-free grocery store in Sanchong of New Taipei, has gained popularity in the neighborhood with a growing number of customers who share a commitment to reducing waste.

Open for nine months, Unpackaged.U has become a first-of-its-kind shop that eschews packaging and asks people to bring their own containers for stocking up on essentials like organic food, fair-trade spices, honey, dried fruits, as well as cleaning products, reported CNA.  

Shop owner Chou Meng-hsuan, who has been preparing meals for her family since high school, is particularly picky about food materials and has been an advocate for eco-friendly practices. She hopes to promote the virtue of “buy what you can eat” without wasting any food though the store's revolutionary approach to grocery shopping. 

Operating such an environmentally-minded shop can be challenging, she noted, but she believes it helps reduce the use of plastics, which is crucial for sustainability on the planet. By presenting food materials as they appear in their natural state, customers can avoid overspending and thus cut food waste, she stressed.

A customer surnamed Lin also told CNA that Unpackaged.U is the dream shop she has been awaiting for over a decade. Not only are humidity and temperature well controlled in the shop to ensure the quality of the food products, but the cost saved from packaging is also reflected in the food prices. Lin hopes the shop's business model will be applied in more places on the island.