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Reusable bags for unpacked shopping

More than 600 kilograms of waste accrues every year in Germany alone. This is above the EU average.

Garbage is a social problem. The EU policy plans a straw ban and to set course for the circular economy.  The German trade association and the Federal Environment Ministry agreed on the voluntary waiver of free plastic bags. As a consumer, one can set an example for packaging-free consumption. This would greatly reduce its own waste consumption.

A few years sprout unpacked shops in the whole of Germany from the ground. There, you can buy food and cosmetics without disposable packaging.  At the weekly market and in classic supermarkets, it is also possible to do its part to bring shopping home with as little packaging as possible. After all, there is no reason why hygiene regulations do not prevent sellers from transferring loose products into containers. For many supermarkets, it is a precautionary measure to fill the containers only on but not behind the counter.

A waste-saving purchase wants to be planned. This is possible each day if you know how. We present you a selection of bags and pouches that are easy to carry for any occasion; from the walk to the supermarket  or to the bakery.

Life Cycle Assessment: Is plastic fantastic and paper patient?

Plastic itself is a practical matter – it’s light, flexible and long lasting. But the latter becomes a problem when the artifact enters the environment. Lockable and reusable plastic bags may still be considered as a “half” alternative to a disposable sachet. However, they must be safe if food is to be stored there.

Paper bags on the other hand, are significantly more biodegradable than their plastic relatives. But they also have to be produced with a great deal of resources.  Not all wood for the production of paper bags comes from sustainably managed forests or even recycled paper. In fact, the LCA of paper bags is on average only better than that of plastic bags, if they are reused several times – at least three times. At least in comparison to correctly disposed plastic bags.

Bunters: alternative to the paper bag

This is exactly why bakery visit becomes a problem. The paper bags in which the baked goods are handed over at the counter, end up in the trash on the way to work, at university or at home. Simple cotton bags can be an alternative as most people have at home. The bread can be transported very tear-resistant to the bread basket. An unpacked option especially tailored to baked goods offers the start-up bag. In cooperation with bakeries, the two founders from northern Germany developed two bags for baked goods: the so-called Brot-Tüüt. It is a thin cloth bag that can be closed with a drawstring – like a gym bag for baked goods.


And the multi-colored snack bags, inside with vegetable starch coated sandwich bag, for sandwiches or sticky and greasy baked goods. All bags are made of organic cotton, and sewn under fair conditions by the company Manomama in Augsburg. Brand-new in the range, the start-up also has the market Tüüt, a plant-strength coated “gym bag” with which salads and Co. can not only be transported garbage-free, but also fresh in the fridge longer stay.

Fruit and Vegetables Department: It’s all about the network

Speaking of salad: especially the thin plastic bags for vegetables and fruits, the so-called shirt bags, land easily in nature, including in the sea. There they take 10 to 20 years until they are – after they are first to microplastics or are mistakenly eaten by marine animals – completely decomposed.

As with poppy seed rolls and crumble snails, there are also various unpacked solutions for potatoes and cherries. Among other things, the reusable nets from Original Unpacked. Or the fruit and vegetable nets of Memo shipping. Both variants are made of organic cotton and fair produced, outside, their own weight is printed. In them, medium quantities of loose fruits and vegetables can be easily stowed in the store and transported home.

Buttoned: for flour and more

If you also want to get the ingredients for your own bakery products free from garbage, and still carry them with light luggage, then Füll has an alternative to heavy glass containers: The start-up has developed three reusable bags with snaps in different sizes – for packaging-free purchases of dry goods Foods such as flour, cereals, lentils or rice. All three bags are made of tear-resistant FSC paper: Thanks to the mixture of 70 percent cellulose and 30 percent latex, the bags are hard-wearing, can be cleaned after use with a mild detergent and labeled with chalk pencils again and again. Up to two liters, equivalent to about 1.7 kilos of rice, for example, holds the largest of them.

Also published on Medium.

Published inE-commerce

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