California Zero-Waste Grocery Store Challenges Consumers to Think Outside the Box While Shopping

Isabelle DeMillan, owner of the Mighty Bin in San Diego, California, opened her grocery store after finding it near impossible to locate goods that didn't come with packaging.

Is this the future of grocery shopping? At the Mighty Bin in San Diego, California, there are no name-brand products or even packaging. The zero-waste store requires shoppers to bring their own reusable containers to take home food. 

The store’s owner, Isabelle DeMillan, said she opened the business because she wanted to reduce her waste. 

“I tried really hard to go to grocery stores and find things without packaging as well as non-toxic products and it was such a mission to find,” she told CBS News

Stores like DeMillan’s are gaining in popularity as people try to look for ways to help the environment. But some question if the trend will catch on on a national scale.  

A food industry consultant told CBS News the business model hinges on whether people are willing to change their shopping habits. “Though you may intend to shop in a certain way in practice, you're going to go with what is most price effective and what's convenient for you,” Corey Chafin, an associate partner at Kearney, told CBS News.

But DeMillan maintained that if a consumer is trying to reduce their waste, they have to start somewhere, and while shopping at her store is a different experience, people who try it end up liking it. 

“It's just going to be a learning curve, but once you get a hang of it, people tell me they really enjoy this way of shopping,” DeMillan said. 

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