The U.K. grocery chain's Unpacked program encourages shoppers to bring their own containers in an effort to curb single-use plastics, and customers are already big fans

Waitrose, one of England's most beloved supermarkets, is trying a new sales tactic in its Oxford location; instead of selling entirely pre-packaged goods, the grocer is instead encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags and containers for an assortment of about 200 loose products. Waitrose designed the 11-week program, called Unpacked, to cut down on single-use plastics, which can take 500 to 1,000 years to decompose completely, and customers are already reporting that they're instant fans.

Waitrose

The strategy is quite simple: Waitrose places produce, dried goods and beverages into bulk containers, letting its customers fill up and weigh their haul on the way out. Vegetables, fruits, pastas, grains, coffee, dish soap and even wine and beer are all available for 15% cheaper than packaged counterparts. And, keeping forgetful customers in mind, the grocer is also selling reusable and compostable containers at the door. Shoppers are invited to share their feedback online.

Plastic is a big problem for the planet, and it's piling up faster than we can handle. Waitrose now joins other eco-friendly businesses working to end society's problem with waste, like Precycle and Package Free in New York City. Although Unpacked will only last for the next few weeks, it's likely that the chain could expand a version of the program to more of its locations.

Waitrose

Waitrose, one of England's most beloved supermarkets, is trying a new sales tactic in its Oxford location; instead of selling entirely pre-packaged goods, the grocer is instead encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags and containers for an assortment of about 200 loose products. Waitrose designed the 11-week program, called Unpacked, to cut down on single-use plastics, which can take 500 to 1,000 years to decompose completely, and customers are already reporting that they're instant fans.