It is estimated by Eurostat that 156 kg (343.9 lb) of packaging waste are generated per person per year in the European Union. According to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 42 kg (92.6 lb) of edible food waste are produced per person per year in Denmark. Frustrated by excessive packaging and food waste, Frédéric Hamburger and Constance Leth founded LØS Market – Scandinavia’s first zero packaging supermarket. The Copenhagen-based store is scheduled to open this summer.
Inspired by a similar shop in Germany, the store will sell over 400 organic products and source from local producers as much as possible. Customers will be encouraged to bring their own containers, however, the store will offer compostable paper bags for dry goods. Customers will be able to pour liquids, such as wine, oil and soap, into empty bottles available in the shop free of charge. Once returned, the used bottles will be washed at LØS Market by a certified washing system and then available to the customers to be used again, explains Hamburger.
Founder of Denmark’s Stop Wasting Food movement, Selina Juul explains, “Research indicates that an increasing number of customers have an escalating demand for smaller food packages, as a growing part of Denmark’s and Scandinavia’s population is singles – in Denmark alone one-fifth of the population is singles.” A report published by the Danish EPA indicates that in fact single people do throw out the most non-processed food, which is likely due to the limited availability of small or single-serve options in Scandinavia.
Loosely translated, LØS means, “single item” as well as “to find a solution” – and that is exactly what the co-founders, Hamburger and Leth, have set out to do. If all goes to plan, the duo hopes to expand the waste-free shopping concept throughout Scandinavia in the near future.