Ottawa’s First Zero-Waste Grocery Store Officially Opens

Connector Summer 2017

Ottawa’s first zero-waste grocery store has officially opened its doors.

Nu Grocery in Hintonburg sells a variety of products – dry food, fresh produce, cleaning and beauty supplies – without any packaging.

Instead, people are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers or to borrow or purchase them from the store.

“If you go shopping today, most of the things that you buy are highly packaged,” said owner Valérie Leloup during the store’s official launch Saturday.

“You end up with almost more packaging than product, and [it] ends up in the garbage bin. Some of it is being recycled but most of it, unfortunately, still ends up in a landfill. As a zero-waste shopper you eliminate completely this part of your purchase. You just focus on the products.”

Leloup, who grew up in France, said zero-waste stores have already opened up in countries across Europe and now seemed like the right time to open one up in the capital.

Federal Environment Minister and Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna said the store’s mandate of environmental responsibility sends a message that’s both important and necessary.

“This is really the future of shopping,” said McKenna, who attended Saturday’s opening.

“I always say the environment and the economy go together, and I’m really proud to see a local, female entrepreneur taking real action to tackle climate change, protect the environment and employ a bunch of people.”

Source: CBC News