With the growing consciousness of being eco-friendly, people are find more ways to minimise their waste and therefore, minimise their impact on the environment. This is especially important in tiny Singapore, where according to the National Environment Agency (NEA)1, 7.70 million tonnes of solid waste was generated in 2017, with the recycling rate only at 61%.
One solution to this problem would be Singapore’s first zero-waste grocery store, UnPackt. The brainchild of co-founders Florence Tay and Jeff Lam, this specialty grocer is nestled in the heartland of Ang Mo Kio and was conceptualised with the ‘kampong spirit’ in mind. Think of it as today’s answer to the provision stores of the past.
How it works:
- Plan your grocery list
- Bring your own reusable container to store your groceries
- Pay by weight for the amount you choose to buy
If you’ve forgotten to bring your own containers, fret not as the store also provides containers donated by the neighbouring businesses. In this way, food and packaging waste is minimised.
Although you may not find one-for-one clearance deals, consumers are still getting a good deal as the co-founders source for bulk pantry staples from all over the world. Thus, everyone saves due to the economies of scale. Besides these staples, UnPackt sells an assortment of environmentally friendly lifestyle foods such as bamboo kitchenware, make up remover towels and organic soaps. In the spirit of building a supportive community, many of these goods are sourced from local social enterprises.
UnPackt’s Founders Jeff Lam and Florence Tay
For all the causes that UnPackt champions, co-founder Tay maintains that minimizing waste does not have to be a huge commitment. Nor should people feel obligated to cut out all waste from their lives. “One small step is better than doing nothing, and it adds up to make a difference. Helping the environment is a collective effort,” she says.
We agree with her and say, BYO bags and containers and support the environment by lowering your waste!
6 Jalan Kuras
Opening hours: 9.00am to 8.00pm
Photo credits: UnPackt