Nowadays, it’s a challenge to go into the supermarket and try to buy products that are not genetically modified, products that do not carry a huge social responsibility, and, on top of all of this, products that don’t affect the environment. We can not anymore think only on how the quality of the food is affecting ourselves, but also be conscious of the supply chain before we get it into our hands.
The current society is starting to glimpse a conscience for quality products. This shows itself clearly in the increase of the organic manufacturing of products lacking in pesticides and which have not been genetically modified, and also Fair Trade products. But nonetheless, the 21st century is characterized by the excess of supply, the excessive consumption and overproduction. The first-world lifestyle impedes that this process that keeps rising should exponentially cease.
We need to be aware that these days developed countries are throwing away excessive quantities of food and the production residues reach up to thousands of tons on a daily basis. The reason for this is the excessive consumption and production. The newspaper El País (Spain), remarks in its’ article, Massive Waste of Food: “the Europeans throw over 89 millions of tons of eatable food throughout the year. Spain wastes an average of 163 kilos for person, which adds 7,7 million tons a year. In absolute terms it is the sixth highest country that after Germany (10,3), Holland (9,4), France (9), Poland (8,9) and Italy (8,7)”.
Changing the way of consumption for these countries is difficult, but since some time ago, a new concept of supermarket is expanding. These supermarkets avoid the use of packaging, a theoretically pioneering idea that consists of buying what is needed and therefore avoiding this production of surpluses. It is what has been always called buying in bulk. This way, not only is it avoidable to throw lots of food away but it also diminishes the production of packages, which for the most part won’t even be retrained. This new concept helps to minimize consumption and simultaneously reduces the use of pollutants used in the package production. This does not focus only on the food field, but the idea is that all products can avoid using packaging, from shampoo to peas. The concept of these supermarkets is not to recycle, but to pre-recycle.
There is a big tradition on bulk buying in Spain, with this helping some small merchants to keep their business still in times of crisis. In these markets vegetables, cereals and species can be bought to weight, but the idea is that one day it will be possible to buy all kinds of products. Some companies already offer products as detergent or milk in this way, but a big surface where all the products are without packaging still doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, these supermarkets already are making headway in the European market. Italy is a pioneer and now is following Germany. The conscience is changing and what before we dreamed can now become reality. The consumption of what is needed and the minimization of the production of packages can lead to the elimination of thousands of tons of garbage that countries such as Germany or Spain are producing annually.
For further information visit the links:
- The bulk shops, growing bussiness in Barcelona
- The original unverpackt
- Bulk buy milk in Spain
- Buy in bulk shop, Jaime J. Renobell
- Buy in bulk Soap shops: