NY1 News: Package Free Grocery 'Precycle' Leaves Zero-Waste Footprint
by Lindsay Tuchman, for NY1 News
Precycle is practicing a new way to go food shopping. There's food, but no packaging. Customers must bring their own containers and bags, and fill them up.
“It’s very straight forward, it’s easy to navigate and figure out even if you just stumble in and you’re like what’s going on,” one shopper said.
Precycle says it's one of the first zero-waste, package-free food stores on the East Coast. The selection is more limited than at a traditional store but there is still a wide variety of items, from beans, to grains and honey. During check out, the store subtracts the weight of the container so that customers only pay for the food they're buying. Precycle also sells recycled bags and reusable glass jars for customers needing them.
“Coming here it's kind of like a one stop shop. It's as close as we can kind of get to the way things were before plastics came around,” another shopper said.
It all started when owner Katerina BogatirevaIt, who grew up in Latvia, began thinking about the amount of waste she was generating at home in Brooklyn.
“I started looking for ways to shop package free. I found it extremely challenging because you have to go to several stores to buy different things,” Bogatirevalt said.
She hatched the idea of a package-free grocery and opened Precycle in December after three years of planning.
“I started thinking about how I would like to shop as a customer, you know avoiding this trash that’s associated with food packaging,” Bogatirevalt said.
Bogatireva happily admits that she has not produced any waste at Precycle since it opened. She hopes to open more package-free stores, one in each borough.