Singapore's first zero-waste store to open on May 5
Singapore's first zero-waste grocery store Unpackt opens on Saturday
Last year, local domestic sources produced about 557,000 tonnes of packaging waste, which includes single-use disposables such as plastic bags and food packaging, according to the National Environment Agency.
At least two local zero-waste initiatives hope to inspire locals to cut down on such waste.
Singapore's first zero-waste grocery store Unpackt opens on Saturday in Jalan Kuras, Ang Mo Kio. It will sell dry goods such as rice and cereals in gravity dispensers, without the usual disposable plastic packaging.
Eco-friendly enzyme-based detergents and housekeeping products will also be available.
The pricing of these products is based on weight, and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers.
Customers can donate clean containers for others to use, and new reusable containers can be bought in-store upon request.
The store will also sell locally made toiletries such as bars of soap and toothpaste powder.
Unpackt co-founder Florence Tay left her job at the Singapore Heart Foundation in February this year to start Unpackt with her friend, Mr Jeff Lam.
She told The New Paper: "I was looking for a way to reduce packaging waste, which I feel is unnecessary in our lives."
Mr Lam, who also runs a cat accessory business, was considering how to reduce food waste by buying food in small quantities, she added.
"We wanted to start something to solve our problems that wasn't in Singapore yet, and that was how Unpackt came about."
As it is registered with the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE), Unpackt will also employ elderly workers and single mothers.
Another zero-waste initiative, The Zero Ways, is looking to set up a permanent store by the end of this year through crowdfunding.
Since last month, Ms Lily Khairunnisa, 30, and her brother, Mr Danial Afiq, 27, have had three pop-up stores at locations like East Coast Park .
A fourth pop-up will be at Tanglin Mall from May 11 to 13.
Ms Lily said: "As a housewife, it was hard to go zero-waste when grocery shopping, especially for products like rice and flour.
"That was when I realised there was a gap in the market to be filled."
Ms Tay added: "If Unpackt can show bigger retailers that there is a market demand for greener options, I hope that other businesses will follow suit soon."