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Packaging-free shopping From no packaging to transformative food retailing

Zero waste shops exist in many German cities. The need of reducing packaging is becoming increasingly important due to the high quantity of packaging waste. Zero waste shops are able to reduce product packaging during transport through a regional focus and cooperation with other stores and suppliers. In the research project Innoredux, the potential of zero waste shops and the opinions of customers are being examined through life cycle assessments, real-world laboratories and surveys. The customer survey came to the conclusion that three out of four of the customers see themselves as responsible for reducing packaging waste.

Contrary to this attitude, many people use zero waste shops only as a supplement to their routine shopping, as distances to the nearest store, the prices and the necessary planning before shopping can act as a deterrent. However, respondents see companies and (municipal) politics also as important actors in transforming packaging by. Nevertheless, the authors see zero waste stores as a viable concept for the future: They transform food retailing not only through their ecological focus, but beyond that also through attention to social conditions. In zero waste shops, the exchange with customers is promoted and their premises provide a space for social events, experiments or simply a place to linger.

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