During my first Plastic Free July last year, I found it hard to know where to go to buy products without packaging. There were so many products I needed to change, but seemingly no options to change them! So I started compiling a list of all shops in Victoria where you can buy food products without packaging. Most of these are places that would be called a “Bulk Food” shop, where you take your own container or use provided paper bags to fill up from a canister.
Ever since then I’ve been wanting to extend this list and make it into a map to help any other Melburnians wanting to live without single-use packaging. But it kept dropping to the bottom of my list of things to do… (having a baby seems to have that effect). But for some reason I finally did it today!
However, I’ve since discovered a couple of other websites that now exist for this purpose.
Zero Waste Home – Bulk App
Contains bulk locations across the world, including many in Melbourne that I wasn’t aware of. However it didn’t contain all the places in my list. The good news is I’ve now added 11 additional places, so go take a look and you’ll see just how many options we really have! This site records ratings on different types of products available, which will be really helpful when searching for something in particular.
Fair Food Forager
An Australian site that looks really promising, covering not just bulk food shops, but 11 categories of “sustainable practice”. It seems to have heaps of locations in Australia and New Zealand, but I can’t find any way to browse locations in Melbourne. And when browsing by the category of “reduced plastics”, only one Melbourne location appears, even though there seem to be others on the site. I really hope the search interface gets improved because it seems to be a great resource. As I can’t yet see the benefit (and I could do with some sleep), I haven’t added any locations to this site. Still, it’s worth checking out: