Have you ever wondered what all these “unpacked” shops are about?
最近住家附近開了一間新的雜貨店, 是目前德國頗為流行的”裸裝”店, Unverpackt. 我們在這幾年的消費行為當中已經盡量在減少塑膠包裝的使用, 這下子有了裸裝商店, 更是引起了我們很大的興趣.
There a new grocery store coming into our neighbourhood this month, and it is the popular “Unpacked / No-Packaging” shop.
We have been trying to minimize the use of plastic packaging in our daily shopping in the past few years, and were quite interested about this new trend coming to our little town, finally.
When did it start
差不多五年前的時候在柏林開了第一間特別注重沒有包裝的食品雜貨店 Original Unverpackt. 老闆 Milena 小姐希望讓大家更注重減少塑膠包裝這件事情, 因此開設了這間商店, 鼓勵大家帶著自己的容器來裝需要購買的食物.
這樣環保的理念影響到許多其他一樣希望減少塑膠包裝的購物者, 進而帶動了一陣裸裝商店的設立. 這幾年幾乎大城市都有一到兩間裸裝商店. 小鎮或許要設立有比較多的難處, 也因此開店時引起了不少的討論和興趣.
The first “Unverpackt” (German for “no-packaging”, “unpacked” ) shop started around 5 years ago in Berlin. Milena, the owner of Original Unverpackt, wanted to promote awareness in reducing plastic packaging, hence the establishment of this shop, encouraging customers to bring their own containers and bags for the purchase.
This concenpt set echo to many other customers and hence started a new wave of “no packaging” shops in Germany. Now most of the big cities would have at least one Unpacked shop. It is however not the case of smaller towns, and hence the newly opened shop did get some attention in our own little town.
How doe it work?
第一次進到這間店, 我請店家小姐帶我走一圈並解釋各個商品以及盛裝的方式. 下面是幾個購物的步驟:
洗手. 畢竟疫情尚未解除, 在整間店幾乎都要自己來的狀況下, 店家希望大家都能夠先把自己手洗乾淨和消毒之後再開始購物.
將自己的容器 (玻璃罐和布袋子) 秤重. 一旁有標籤和筆可以寫下容器的重量, 寫好之後貼在容器上面. 如果有不少容器, 可以一開始就拿好小推車將容器放在上面.
開始購物. 不同的物品可能是用勺子舀起, 或者是類似水龍頭這樣的裝盛. 有些需要手拿的, 必須要使用店家提供的手套. 使用完店家會回收清洗.
付帳. 結束之後推車直接推到櫃台, 店家會秤重算價錢. 全部的商品, 包含清潔用品, 液體或者固體, 全部都是以重量多寡來計算價錢. 液體已經有依照不同的比重計算過, 也因此不是用體積來計算.
First time in the Unpacked Shop, I asked the shop assitant to walk me through the whole shopping procedure.
- Wash hands. As the pandemic has not yet left us, it is rather essential that you should wash and disinfect your hands before helping yourself with the items in the shop.
- Measure the weight of your containers and label them. There is a scale right at the entrance, you may also just lay out all your containers and bags on the little trolley and then measure.
- Start shopping ! Some items require scooping, others run through a kind of tab system. Fill your containers with desired items. Certain items are easier taken by hands, you may use the gloves provided by the shop, and return for washing after you are finished.
- Payment. Right at the cashier, the shop assistant would take over your cart and measure your items. Price is calculated according to the relevant weight of items. All have been adjusted according to their reference weight. Pay, pack, and you’re done!
在裸裝商店買到的”鬱金香”義大利麵 (形狀像是鬱金香). 用自己的布袋盛裝, 回來再換到玻璃瓶裡.
The “tulip” pasta bought from the unpacked shop ( the shape looks like tulips). Using our own fabric bags for the pasta and then put them back into our glass jars.
Before you shop…
購物過程其實一點也不複雜, 不過購物之前還是先計畫一下比較好. 例如:
- 先參觀過裸裝商店看看他們目前提供哪些品項. 這些商店都會盡量和附近的製造商合作, 也因此和其他城鎮的可能不大相同.
- 回家考慮自己需要的品項有哪些, 進而準備需要的容器. 例如, 買義大利麵應該不會用罐子而是直接用布袋比較實用. 如果容器不足, 或者臨時需要什麼, 店家也有販售空罐以及布袋.
- 清潔用品例如洗衣精, 洗碗精, 馬桶清潔劑都可以在裸裝商店購買. 不過這些通常需要特別的容器, 如果有打算改變自己的購物習慣, 減少購入新的塑膠包裝, 也可以現在就開始將這些產品的包裝容器保留下來, 帶到裸裝商店去盛裝.
The shopping process is not complicated at all, however, I would recommend a little bit of planning before visiting:
- Check out your local unpacked shop for their stock and items. Most of these shops would cooperate with local producers, hence the items are not the same as in other cities.
- Consider what you might need at home, and prepare containers needed. For example, I would prefer to bring a draw-string bag for the pasta rather than a glass. If you do not have the suitable containers, these can be purchased in the shop too.
- Detergents, such as washing liquid, laundry powder, or even toilet detergent, are all available in the shop. However, these items do require their specific containers. It might be a good idea to collect the containers now and refill them in the shop.
After my shopping experience, it is true that I cannot find everything I want and have to go elsewhere for those items. However, it was a good feeling to go local and successfully reduce some plastic packaging.
Other ways to minimize
當然, 不是只有在裸裝商店購物才能夠減少塑膠包裝的使用. 以下是一些我這幾年在德國盡量配合的購物方式, 也提供給大家參考看看:
- 農夫市集購買青菜水果, 攜帶自己的盛裝布袋. 購物的時候直接拿給農夫, 他們會幫你歸零然後直接幫你秤重需要的蔬果. 有時候農夫也有自己的容器, 我就會再另外裝回自己的袋子. 這個袋子很容易縫製, 可以參考youtube 的教學影片.
- 雞蛋的購買算是很方便, 在大部分的超級市場和農夫市集都有販售零散雞蛋的地方, 用自己的容器盛裝是沒有問題的.
- 超級市場要用自己的袋子是不行的, 不過現在超市有販售自己的重複使用網袋, 這些有掃描條碼會在櫃台顯示重量, 方便櫃台人員計算最終價格. 同一間超商的紙袋如果沒有壞, 我也會留著下次去的時候重複使用.
- 一樣是蔬菜水果的地方, 不同的供貨商有不同的包裝, 我會盡量選擇沒有包裝的那些. 即使差別只是小小的塑膠條也盡量選裸裝的.
- 其他的商品如牛奶和優格, 我們則是選擇玻璃罐裝而不是塑膠盒的.
肉類和起司櫃台為了衛生起見, 大部分的超商都拒絕客人自己攜帶容器過來. 這幾年有改變一些, 可以先問問看. 有些人建議可以使用不鏽鋼的容器, 但是我們目前為止尚未嘗試所以沒有辦法給大家心得感想.
Surely there are methods to reduce plastic packaging other than shopping at the Unpacked shop. Here are a few ways we have tried throughout the years:
- Shopping at the farmers’ market with your own bags. You may present these to the farmers and they would subtract the weight when you are done with choosing the fresh produce.
- Bring your own egg box. Whether at the farmers’ market or in the supermarket, there are stalls that provide unpacked eggs. You may help yourself and pack in your own container.
- It is not possible to use your own mesh or draw-string bags in the supermarket, however, some of them do sell their own and each one of them come with bar code for weight subtraction at the counter. I sometimes bring the paper bags that I have collected from the same supermarkets and bring them for shopping again.
- Each produce provider has their own packaging, so for tomatoes, there may be some in plastic containers yet some completely unpacked. Whenever possible, we try to go for the ones without.
- Other items such as milk and yogurt, we prefer them in glass jars.
Fresh meat and cheese counters usually refuse containers brought by the customers, due to hygiene procedures. Though, in recent years, there are more shops who are willing to cooperate and would either allow stainless steel containers or their own reusable boxes.
Is it worth all the effort to buy at an unpacked shop?
在德國回收的項目當中, 包裝也是其中一項. 每個月才回收一次, 南部這裡是得全部放在市政府提供的黃色回收袋裡面才能夠被回收, 而且只能是回收當天才放到路邊讓垃圾車收走.
這個袋子很容易破, 所以每次回收遇到大風大雨就會有一堆垃圾飛來飛去. 若是貓咪好奇心一多, 也有可能將垃圾袋弄得亂七八糟. 這樣製造市容髒亂也就算了, 回收塑膠或者任何非紙類的包裝之前都還必須清洗過. 這真的是個很麻煩的事情.
我真心懷疑政府是希望大家都討厭這種回收方式也因此盡量不要使用塑膠包裝, 很可惜地還是有很多人不在乎, 甚至沒有仔細研究哪些包裝才可以回收, 想到是包裝就全部都丟到袋子裡.
購買裸裝商品, 重複使用容器, 最偉大的目的當然就是減少全世界的塑膠垃圾. 這對生態對動物對全人類都是好事情. 可是, 就算沒有偉大的理想, 光想到可以減少回收的麻煩我就拍拍手了.
紙類和玻璃罐都是可以回收也比較不麻煩的. 各種物品的回收都會用到一些資源, 這些大家都可以再去查詢比較看看怎樣可以降低資源使用.
Packaging, mostly plastic, is part of the recycling items in Germany. I personally think the collection system is just tedious.
First you have to clean the packaging, then collect them all in one huge, super thin, yellow plastic bag designated for these items. The bags are free yet only provided by the city council. No other bags are allowed to be used. And, yellow bags are only collected once per month.
The thin and light bags have to be taken out the night before collection. If it happens to be windy and rainy, and perhaps in the neighbourhoods there are too many curious cats, you would just see flying trash along the whole road the next morning.
I strongly suspect the local government designed this recycling system on purpose, just so people would be annoyed by its complexity and start using less plastic packaging.
It works for me for sure. Yes, reducing the amount of plastic trash is a great ideal for every creature on earth. Even without thinking that far ahead about this ideal, I am already glad to have less items for plastic recycling.
Some questions for self-reflection.
這一篇介紹的裸裝商店, 是個蠻有意思的概念. 我自己並不會因此從此捨棄其他的商店只在這間購買,但是我想這個提倡減少塑膠包裝的概念是值得推行的.
- 如果包裝是必須的, 是否可以選擇較環保的包裝?
如果你有其他的心得建議, 也歡迎在下面留言和大家分享, 讓我們一起在愛地球的路上並肩前進.
The whole concept of unpacked shop is interesting, yet, I am sure that I will continue shopping in my usual local supermarkets, perhaps guarded with more fabric bags and containers of my own.
The whole idea is worth promoting, and next time, ask yourself some questions before shopping:
- Are there other items with less plastic packaging?
- Is it possible to use your own containers?
- Would it be possible to shop local instead of shopping online to minimize any kind of packaging?
- If packaging is necessary, is there an environmentally-friendly option available?
And if you have any suggestion or thoughts, you are also very welcome to share with us. See you there on way to love earth more.