Unpackaged stores have become firmly established: Many people now prefer to do their shopping without packaging. This has become a trend as enjoying your time at Bizzocasino.

Versatile, light, practical – and one of the biggest environmental problems of our time: it’s not easy to do without plastic. The zero-waste movement and the many packaging-free stores that have sprung up in German-speaking countries in recent years – following the example of “Original Unverpackt” – show that it is at least possible when it comes to shopping.

These stores and supermarkets offer almost all goods “open” for filling or in reusable (deposit) containers. Customers can fill or pack the quantity they need into containers they bring with them and finally shop plastic-free. Whether pasta, rice, pulses, coffee, confectionery, soap or detergent: you can get almost everything in bulk here.


In packaging-free supermarkets or unpackaged stores, pasta, rice, muesli etc. are stored in large wall-mounted dispensers, so-called “bulk bins”, so that you can fill the goods yourself. Spices and herbs, for example, are spooned from large jars into small ones, vinegar and oil are filled from large canisters or bottles into smaller bottles, eggs are packed in cartons you bring with you, cheese in paper, storage tins or oilcloth.

Shopping without packaging even works with shower gel or washing powder – thanks to the principle of self-filling. The weight of the containers you bring with you is noted before they are filled in the unpackaged stores and deducted at the checkout so that you only pay for what you take with you. And if you don’t have your own containers with you, you can buy or borrow some in the store.

The concept of plastic-free stores is as simple as it is forward-looking: it saves vast amounts of plastic packaging, which is produced at a high energy cost only to end up in the bin shortly after shopping. Letting customers fill their own containers also allows them to buy only the quantity they really need, thereby reducing food waste. Many of the unpackaged stores also only sell organic goods and place particular emphasis on regional production – only home production is more environmentally friendly.

Shop everywhere without packaging: The ReUse Revolution Map from Greenpeace

In August 2020, Greenpeace also launched an interactive map with countless packaging-free shopping options in Germany. In addition to unpackaged stores, you can also find bakeries that fill bread into cloth bags that you bring with you, supermarkets that accept your own storage boxes at the cheese counter or offer muesli dispensers, or restaurants that fill your own boxes. Users can add to the map themselves and add new businesses.


Living completely plastic-free is not impossible, but it is difficult. It requires a lot of information, planning, time and DIY skills. However, reducing your own plastic consumption is not difficult at all.

In conventional supermarkets, discount stores and drugstores. Almost all products are packaged in some way – many in aluminum cans, jars or cartons, but most in plastic. The only time you can actually do without packaging completely is for fruit and vegetables. And often not even in these cases.

Plastic-free shopping is easier at weekly markets. There the traders usually offer their goods unpackaged and are often willing to fill them into containers and bags. These you can bring with you. The situation is similar at farm stores – but not everyone has one nearby. In addition to unpackaged fruit and vegetables, some organic food stores also offer foods. Like cereals, spices, muesli, tea or oils that you can fill yourself.

It is more difficult with cleaning products and cosmetics. Here you often have to do it yourself. Unpackaged care products are available from a few brands. Such as Lush, but the latter are not certified as natural cosmetics and the company has been criticized several times.


David Yin

David is a blogger, geek, and web developer — founder of FreeInOutBoard.com. If you like his post, you can say thank you here

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