Ozarka - Amsterdam's first #NoSUPP Grocery Store

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Offering a disruptive grocery-shopping model that reduces packaging waste dramatically, without sacrificing convenience.

Opening in Amsterdam in Spring, 2018: Ozarka is a new-concept shop offering upmarket, gorgeous, high-quality yet affordable specialty foods, every-day grocery, and personal care products. We will also feature a prepared foods station and salad bar that is self-serve and sold by weight.

Best of all, Ozarka is a #NoSupp* retailer. We will sell no product wrapped or packaged in single-use plastic. We will make it incredibly enjoyable *and* convenient for our customers to participate in sustainable shopping.

Plastic packaging has created one of the most severe environmental crises of our time. We use far more of it that we can recycle or manage and most of it ends up in landfill, or polluting our oceans and terrestrial environment (only 8% of plastic is recycled worldwide).

Ozarka's model aims to drastically reduce and remove plastic from our daily lives without compromising quality or convenience in every day shopping. Our food is beautiful. Our shopping experience is beautiful. With our customers we will keep the planet beautiful.

Say yes to Ozarka. Say yes to #NoSUPP

We are inviting suppliers to contact us and join in this vision. Specifically:
Fruit and vegetable producers
Local cheese makers
Local beter-leven dairy
Caterers and gourmet food truck vendors
High end personal product makers looking to prototype a refills model: soaps, shampoos, conditioners (think Kiehls, Body Shop, Kevin Murphy)
Bio-based, single-use packaging manufacturers
Compostable packaging manufacturers
Industrial composting facilities

Contact@ozarka.biz

*NoSUPP = No Single Use Plastic Packaging

What is the goal of the project?

The effectiveness of recycling is a myth. The planet is overwhelmed with plastic pollution, much of which is the result of the tremendous overuse of single-use plastic containing consumables. Ozarka will offer a disruptive grocery-shopping model that reduces packaging waste dramatically, without sacrificing convenience.

What is the result of the project?

A tremendous reduction in packaging waste management and packaging waste pollution. The store will open in Spring of 2018 and offers a three-tiered approach: retail model, data collection and analysis, and a communication platform.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

Beth Massa initiated this project (that's me). I am a business development manager for academic research at Microsoft and many of my scientific research customers work in the space of plastic pollution. I came to know so much about this problem I found it a moral imperative to participate in its solution.

What is the next step?

Our business plan is finished and we are in the process of securing financing.

What can other cities learn from your project?

The entire model can be expanded or replicated. We aim to show that a sustainable grocery store is just as convenient as a regular store, and even superior in terms of customer experience. We aim to reduce plastic recycling needs to zero as long as someone shops in our store.

www.ozarka.nl

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2 Comments

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Beth Massa's picture
Beth Massa

Hi Bernard,
Completely agree with you on every point ( because your points are irrefutable facts). Our approach is reduce, reuse, recycle in terms of order of priority. Our aim is to reduce the need for recycling as much as possible. My post does not fully explain our model. I am well informed on the issues surrounding marine litter -- it is these very issues from which the concept of Ozarka was born. We are not a huge fan of bio-compostable products and so in our store they are a last resort option in order to appeal to all customer shopping behaviors. But our aim to use reusable packaging as much as possible and in the vast majority of purchases. Always happy to have conversations with like minded individuals and broaden our network.

Kind regards,
Beth Massa

Bernard MERKX's picture
Bernard MERKX

Dear Beth, litter is indeed a major issue, but most of littered items found in the environment are single use convenience packaging with no residual value (deposit value on items solves most of that issue). There are however a lot of re usable packaging items which are well kept in closed loops and used for many many years. Considering bio based or compostable does not solve the litter issue (UNEP), as the main issue is the way of collecting and sorting and a lack of value to the waste streams. Poorly managed landfills are identified as one of the key sources of littering.
It is not necessarily the material used, it is the way we humans are dealing with end of life issues (political choices), which needs to be changed, i.e. by introducing real extended producer responsibility.
The technologies to recycle most of it back into valuable raw materials do exist, they are unfortunately not well applied as a consequence of choices made in the past.
let me know if you are interested in having more info on (marine) litter issues& high quality recycling possibilities.
Best regards
Bernard

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