The Jakarta Post
One step at a time: Bulk stores in Indonesia can be the place for customers to find out more about a zero-waste lifestyle. The majority of the stores provide a wide array of food ingredients, personal cares items and home care products. (shutterstock.com/Natalia Deriabina/File)
Buying groceries or other necessities in bulk has become a trend among eco-conscious consumers who want to produce less waste by avoiding single-use plastic packaging and food waste.
In general, the activity involves customers bringing their own containers to be weighted in, filled with content and charged based on the amount.
Itching to get on this eco-friendly bandwagon? Here are some stores in Indonesian cities that implement such a zero-waste concept:
Where: Bintaro, South Jakarta
Established in November 2018, Saruga Pack-Free Shopping offers various items, from food ingredients to personal care and home care products.
Owner Adi Asmawan said he built the store out of concern over waste in his neighborhood. “For years, my house had been polluted by smoke from burned garbage. I had done various things [to solve the problem] but to no avail,” Adi told The Jakarta Post on Friday. “So I decided to learn about waste and it turns out that the issue is very complex.”
Adi later realized that retailers did little to solve the problem. He added that the bring-your-own-container culture had long been applied in Indonesia through traditional warung (sidewalk shop). “People used to bring bottles to buy cooking oil [at the warung], so we want to bring the culture back, but in a modern way."
Though the store currently provides containers for those who don't bring their own, Adi plans to no longer do so. “It won’t educate them,” he said. “If we provide them with containers, while at the same time they already have reusable ones at home, it also means I let them hoard those containers.”
Saruga Pack-Free Shopping Store plans to open a new branch in Jakarta this year.
Where: Kemang, South Jakarta
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Naked Inc. allows people to bring their own jars, mesh bags, bottles or other containers to buy various items -- ranging from food ingredients like pasta, rice and seeds to personal care products.
The store also provides workshops that educate people on an eco-friendly lifestyle, such as how to make kombucha, jamu (herbal drinks) and organic tempeh.
Naked Inc. also has an online store that sells almost the same range of items.
Where: Menteng, Central Jakarta and Kemang, South Jakarta
The Bulkstore & Co. provides various items for eco-conscious buyers, including food ingredients, personal care products, home care items, kitchen utensils and ready-to-eat meals. Items are either sold per piece or per gram.
A list of the store's items and prices is also available on its Instagram account.
This year, The Bulkstore & Co. is said to open its third branch in the SCBD area, South Jakarta.
Where: Surabaya, East Java
Alang-Alang Zero Waste is said to be the first zero-waste outlet in Surabaya. Located at Ruko Este Square Kav A2, the store is open every day except Mondays.
Established in 2019, Alang-Alang Zero Waste provides a wide array of organic food, ready-to-eat meals, personal care goods and wooden cutlery. Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers, but those who don't can also buy glass jars available at the store.
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The store also offers an eco-friendly delivery service using a bike to locations within a maximum distance of 20 kilometers.
Where: Kerobokan and Ubud, Bali
Founded by Silvija Rumiha, Zero Waste Bali can be found in Kerobokan subdistrict and Ubud town in Bali.
Said to be the first zero-waste store on the island with the aim to help people enter a zero-waste lifestyle one step at a time, the store offers food, eco-friendly containers, organic clothes and personal care items.
Those who prefer to shop online can do so through its website. Zero Waste Bali also provides a refill service for delivery to customers’ houses. (kes)
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