Can Grocery Stores Be Entirely Waste Free?

Nada is the newest grocery store tackling trash talk.

March 14, 2018

By Tessa Vikander / Photo: Amanda Palmer

Brianne Miller is on a plastic-busting mission. Tired of seeing how global plastic waste was affecting animal habitats, the former marine biology researcher decided to stop plastics at the source: the grocery store. She’s now the founder and CEO of Nada, a full-fledged zero-waste grocery store, which is slated to open any day now.

Located at Broadway and Fraser Street, the store sells everything from baked goods and fresh produce to toiletries and pet food, all without the usual one-time-use packaging. Customers bring their containers or, as is the case for the Avalon milk, pay a deposit for the glass bottle. The centre aisles are filled with organic bulk grains, flours, coffee, tea and oils. But that convenient roll of plastic bags—and frozen pizzas—are distinctly absent.

“Almost all of our items are single-ingredient items, so we have very few processed foods,” says Miller. But a few multi-ingredient items have sneaked their way in. Among them are ice cream and candy, as well as package-free Denman Island chocolate, selling at almost half its usual retail price. It’s a big ask for Vancouverites to change their shopping habits, but eliminating packaging waste might just be the key to our Greenest City goal.

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