The buzz in Bordeaux is the package-free épicerie called La Recharge which will be opening in early June. Grocery stores across France already encourage shoppers to bring reusable shopping bags, but this new shop—the first of its kind in the hexagon—goes one step further. Here, clients bring their very own reusable containers, Tupperware, and glass bottles to fill with products sourced from local farmers and artisans. Think eggs, juice, honey, cookies, cooking oil, and even household cleaning products.
There are also small paper bags at your disposal to measure grains, beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables which are stored in large containers. If you buy yogurt and raw milk, you can return the glass containers to the store to be returned directly to the producers.
Every year in France, a person produces 390 kilogrammes of garbage, a number that has doubled in the last 40 years, according to the Minister of Ecology. And five million tonnes of packaging is thrown away every year in France. The mission of La Recharge is to encourage citizens to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
The project was the brainchild of two entrepreneurial friends, graduates of Sciences Po, and it was successfully financed with a crowd-funding campaign on the site KissKissBankBank.