Is composting key to sustainable e-grocery?
E-commerce adoption and environmental sustainability initiatives often conflict with each other. Customers want the convenience of having things shipped to them, but that creates a lot of excess garbage in the form of packaging. Now a startup is trying to reconcile that in the food space by providing all of its products in compostable packaging.
Rise Mrkt plans to launch in 2020, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful, according to Fast Company.
“Rise Mrkt is a radically sustainable online grocery store,” wrote founder Jordyn Gatti on his company’s Kickstarter page. “We sell dry pantry goods shipped directly to your door packaged in our 100 percent compostable pouches. 100 percent compostable means there is ZERO plastic. Yes, totally plastic free packaging! Our shipping materials will also be totally plastic free, made from recycled materials and compostable when possible. We also take care of the composting by sending you a pre-paid shipping label to simply ship the empty pouches to the closest composting facility after you’ve accumulated enough of them.”
The Brooklyn-based startup, which already operates thebettermrkt.com, assures customers its prices either match or beat the price on the same products at retailers like Amazon and Thrive Market. Mr. Gatti wrote, “We’re able to do this by buying our items closer to the original source which eliminates the middlemen who increase the cost and waste of any product. Also, by shipping the items directly to your door we are eliminating the added cost of having a physical retail space.”
The company is planning to address “food insecurity” via pop-ups or mobile grocery trucks.
In brick-and-mortar retail, zero waste grocery stores that require people to bring their own containers and bags for food have been increasing in popularity. Plastic bag bans and eco-guilt also incentivize grocery shoppers to bring their own bags.
A recently-launched “circular” e-commerce platform called Loop piloting with Walgreens and Kroger enables consumers to pick up products in special reusable packaging at stores and then place the used containers on their doorstep to be cleaned and reused.
- Rise Mrkt – A 100 percent Plastic Free Online Grocery Store – Kickstarter
- This new online grocery store is entirely plastic-free – Fast Company
- A Whole New Kind Of Grocery Store Is Coming To The U.S. – Huffington Post
- First ‘Zero-Waste’ Grocer Invites Shoppers to Bring Own Jars, Fill Them and Pay By Weight – NBC New York
- Can Loop make packaging reusability a reality at scale? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Can an online grocer like Rise Mrkt succeed, or will the avoidance of plastic packaging limit its potential? Can you envision an e-grocery future in which all product packaging is completely sustainable?