From plastic straw bans to entire towns legislating against disposal materials, slow, steady progress is being made against the world's plastic problem. But eliminating wasteful single-use materials is not an easy endeavor, considering how intensely embedded they are in our everyday lives. It seems like almost every outing involves some sort of plastic — especially when it comes to shopping. Buying groceries and goods involve a lot of plastic bags that are usually only used to transfer the items home — then they’re stuffed under a sink, thrown out, or discarded out in the environment.
But places like Precycle are attempting to change how grocery shopping gets done — without plastic. The Bushwick store lets you shop for groceries with reusable containers that you can either bring or buy on sight. The goods are then weighed and priced accordingly.
Katerina Bogatireva, Precycle’s founder, grew up in Soviet-era Latvia, where no-waste values were a way of life. After moving to New York and experiencing the excess of American culture, and the plastic products that came with it, she was challenged to create as little waste as possible in her daily life. Eager to improve the planet for her child and teach others how to subvert their everyday habits, she created the mindful store, which recently opened on Starr Street.
Along with fresh produce, Precycle sells grains, spices, flours, oils and other bulk products. They also sell soap, lotions, and various reusable tools.
“I am working on bringing shampoo and conditioner on tap and many more products in the near future,” said Bogatireva. “The list grows on almost a daily basis…”
She also hopes to make her brand more mobile-friendly in the new year.
“I am working on developing an app that would help the customers to visually see their impact on reducing what they send to the landfill,” she explained. “The app will also involve another important aspect of Precycle's mission - it will be a tool for customers to see where the products come from and how they are produced.”
More about Precycle can be found on their website.