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French Start-up Offers Greener Shopping Options to Reduce Plastic Waste

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In order to reduce plastic waste, French start-up Jean Bouteille is offering consumers the ability to buy its liquid products in bulk via returnable glass bottles. Wines, oils, fruit juices, as well as detergents, shampoos and cleaning solutions… Jean Bouteille offers a hundred liquid products through 450 French grocery stores and supermarkets that have got on board with its ecological approach. What if the return to the faithful old deposit system were the solution to reduce plastic waste? With its bulk liquid dispensers and its returnable bottles, Jean Bouteille is offering a zero waste alternative for both shops and consumers.

Bulk buying is on the right track

Bulk sales, an effective solution for reducing packaging waste, are positively soaring. However, when it comes to liquids, beverages, detergents or beauty products, it’s still difficult to do without containers. Fortunately, Lille, France-based Jean Bouteille came up with a solution back in 2014.

A forgotten practice that’s back in business

For Gérard Bellet, the founder, the deposit system is an emotional reminder of his childhood. “It disappeared without us realizing, but it is part of our heritage, our recent history, and it has a vintage charm that is liable to improve our daily lives, as well as being an ecological tool.” Jean Bouteille fits out shops with dispensers of oil, wine and vinegar, as well as household and beauty products and, more recently beer and even spirits. In exchange for 1-2 euros, store customers receive an empty bottle, which they can reuse as much as they want and return at any time. In this way, they are reducing their waste while making savings: indeed the packaging represents 20 to 25% of the final cost price of the product. 450 stores have already bought into the concept across France.

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