Sparse rows of glass jars containing dry foods like grains, seeds and dried fruit; refill stations for cleaning solutions plus an array of environmentally friendly
products like clay utensils and bamboo baskets can all be found at plastic-free, zero-waste shop — Zero Waste Eco-Store — a utopia for people looking to ditch
In fact, Jyothi and Pankaj Sancheti started the Eco-Store a few months ago precisely with the intent to reduce the usage of plastic. “More than a business, we would like to call it a social venture as we started this with the intention of protecting the environment instead of just complaining. We procure items in bulk and sell them loose in whatever quantity the customer wants. This way, we help avoid creating smaller plastic waste, which is difficult to even recycle,” says Pankaj Sancheti, a chartered accountant by profession.
Pankaj, his wife Jyoti and sister Pratibha Jain are the force behind the store, along with two other partners, Suvibha Nolkha and Namrata Baldwa. Zero Waste’s philosophy is to urge its clientele to consume zero-waste, and people are encouraged to bring their own bag when they buy their groceries. “The whole system has got so dependent on plastic that everything from a small chocolate to large goods are packed in plastic. But our idea is not to just sell plastic-free but also procure it plastic-free,” says co-founder Jyothi, who adds that the challenge of procuring plastic-free goods remains.
“Initially, when we shopped for the store, we personally went to the wholesalers and bought the goods in cloth bags. However, many of them were not able to
understand our concept and felt that it was too much effort for them to follow our conditions and send goods plastic-free,” she explains.
Talking about how the idea came about, Pankaj says, “I had been reading about it for some time on the Internet and really got interested after reading Bea
Johnson’s book — Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life. I had also shopped at the zero waste store in Chennai — The Eco-Indian.
When I moved to Hyderabad, I was looking for package free shopping but couldn’t find any such store here. That’s when I decided to start one and discussed the idea with family and friends, who also got interested in it.”
Adds Jyothi, “We procure most items locally so that we can support the local economy. oods procured from far-off places have a higher carbon footprint.”...