5 Places To Shop Sans Plastic Packaging
Plagued with guilt about all the plastic that comes with shopping? Us too. From cotton swabs to individual pieces of fruit, practically everything is encased in non-biodegradable packaging, no matter how small. Thankfully, these shops are doing their part to protect our planet.
The Hive Bulk Foods
The first zero waste store to grace Malaysian waters, The Hive Bulk Foods has two physical outlets in Bangsar and Ampang plus an online platform. Eco-warrior Claire Sancelot joins forces with refugees and female entrepreneurs to craft in-house products such as bamboo toothbrushes and muslin laundry bags. As its name implies, bulk foods are big here; stock up on dried beans, gluten-free flours and ‘naked’ or spiced nuts to last several months. We've also signed up for hands-on classes on a wide range of topics, from ‘DIY Beeswax Wrapping’ to ‘Tropical Urban Edible Gardening.’
Founded by Malika Bouqniss, Frangipani Bulk was born as an online shop in 2017, participated in pop-ups in and around KL, and has finally put down roots at The LINC KL, a new retail space on Jalan Tun Razak that blurs the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors, with a giant tree growing through its main courtyard – we can’t think of a better home for the eco-friendly business. Popular products here include the retro tiffin boxes and patterned coffee cups.
BYOB Damansara Kim
An acronym for ‘bring your own bottle,’ BYOB provides a trifecta of benefits: extend the lifespan of your existing plastic bottles, avoid accumulating more plastic bottles, and save money while you’re at it. Largely stocking liquid solutions, the shop boasts an impressive range of laundry detergents, softeners, mop shines, glass cleaners, disinfectants, car shampoo, pet shampoo, and so on. How it works: bring your own plastic bottle(s) to be refilled with the said household necessities, and pay by the weight (minus the weight of your receptacle).
NUDE, The Zero Waste Store
NUDE is fuelled by a wish to prove that not all businesses are self-serving. Founded by platonic friends Wilson and Cheryl, the zero waste store encourages the community to live by the Japanese principle of ikigai, which conveys "a reason for being.” Products such as the biodegradable soaps, shampoo bars, and cloth cotton pads at NUDE can help minimise your carbon footprint.
Your Local Wet Markets
Can you eschew the comforts of air-conditioned supermarkets for a greater good? Most produce is presented without plastic packaging at wet markets, making them more eco-friendly than hypermarkets. Simply bring your own tote (choose canvas over cotton to accommodate heavier loads) to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Meat, poultry and seafood, on the other hand, can be stored and transported in multiple-use containers or tiffin carriers. As long as you mind your Ps and Qs, most vendors will accommodate your request to use your plastic-free packaging.