Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Two new takes on urban supermarkets

A new Berlin supermarket requires shoppers to bring their own containers. (Jendrik Schröder/Original Unverpackt)

Shoppers in the U. S. and elsewhere are getting accustomed to taking reusable bags along on supermarket expeditions. Now, a revolutionary food store in Berlin is expanding the waste-reduction trend by asking customers to bring their own jars, bottles and other containers.

Luigi Serenelli and Angela Waters report for USA Today that the newly opened Original Unverpackt (Original Unpackaged) ditches throwaway material. That means no plastic, polystyrene or cardboard. 

Instead, customers fill their own jars, Tupperware, cloth bags and reusable bottles, the article says. Liquid items such as juice and yogurt are sold in bottles and jars that come with deposits, according to CityLab’s coverage. (There are a few exceptions: Toothbrushes, for example, are sold in biodegradable packages for cleanliness.)

Meanwhile, a British retailer is championing another innovative concept: no-frills cashless supermarkets for the poor. Louise Eccles reports for the Daily Mail that Easyjet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou says restricting transactions to credit, debit or prepaid cards eliminates security costs related to transfering money to banks. Those savings can be passed on to customers. 

The planned easyFoodstores, featuring inexpensive “unbranded” products, are set to debut next summer in low-income London neighborhoods. 

USA Today

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