In October last year, we wrote an article all about the destruction that plastics and food packaging waste have on our environment and our lives. Aside from the amazing news back in May from the Ocean Cleanup crew that they’ll be starting their cleanup trials later this year, not much has changed globally. We are still producing an inordinate amount of plastics waste.
The average recycling rate in the USA is only 35%. In 2014, about 258 million tons of waste were generated; 136 million tons of this waste were sent to landfill and 13% of this waste was plastics. Equally, the devastating amount of food waste generated by the supermarkets and supply chains could potentially end world hunger. According to the EPA, 28% of the total waste in 2014 was food and yard trimmings and most of this was avoidable and/or edible.
In our article, we looked at zero waste grocery shopping and three individuals who were trying to make a difference: Joshua Blaine of in.gredients, Catherine Conway of Unpackaged and Brianne Millar of Zero Waste Market. The last of these three has recently released some exciting news – after 18 months of operating from a pop-up store model, Millar has finally found a permanent space!
Along with gaining this stable space, the market has also rebranded. They are now Nada, a store just about the food. No packaging and no unpronounceable ingredients. They support and stock products from the thriving local economy and are on a mission to create a “lighter world that values a food system free of excess and waste.” Millar hopes that through their grocery store people will become more connected with their food. Understanding where your food comes from and knowing that the farmer down the street labored to supply you with fresh fruit and vegetables holds you accountable.
But Millar didn’t just stop at food when planning her business model. Nada also believe in making conscientious decisions in all their operations and this included their space and building efforts. The site they have chosen fulfills their social and environmental goals by being LEED gold certified with maximum 10% end use energy from fossil fuels, located in a central neighborhood with high walk and bike scores and will be surrounded by a vibrant community of complementary businesses. They will also be working alongside green and sustainable contractors and suppliers to make sure their space is as waste-free as their products.
We’re thrilled that Millar will soon be bringing a permanent zero waste grocery store to Western Canada and we will be following Nada’s success! If you’re in Vancouver, be sure to stop by and congratulate Millar and her team at one of their popups and check out their new retail location on their website.