Total Eco Croatia

The First Zero-Waste Store Opens in Zagreb

By 15 April 2017

“Zero Waste” stores have been making a global movement in recent years, growing in popularity in Europe and even making their way across the seas to America and Australia, and now Zagreb joins the movement with the opening of Špeceraj.

It has been estimated that we use 5 trillion plastic bags worldwide per year and that the average person uses around 700 plastic bags – the majority of these are single-use bags we use in the Supermarket! The idea of a zero-waste store is simple – selling items in bulk, without packaging and encouraging customers to bring their own containers and reusable packaging, which of course has a positive impact on the environment.

When asked about the idea in an interview with Buro 247 on April 14 2017, owner Snjezana Zrnić said she gained her inspiration from the zero-waste stores already making their presence felt around Europe, believing that Zagreb has a market and need for such a store.

The store is aptly named ‘Špeceraj', which in english translates to 'groceries', and in it you can find such groceries as – dairy products, eggs, fruits, dried goods, honey, vegetables, olive oil, dressings, gluten-free products even natural cosmetics. Customers are given the option to bring their own packaging and are even given a discount incentive for doing so, or they have the option to purchase glass jars or recycled paper bags to use.

As well as encouraging customers to reduce packaging, the idea behind zero-waste stores also encourages us to think about what and how we buy – i.e. so we learn to only buy as much as we need to reduce food wastage. As we have spoken about before, the most predominant and dangerous waste in landfills is bio-waste, so the more we change our shopping habits, the less environmental damage we each contribute.

The store and décor itself, has even been designed thoughtfully by designer Kristina Inkret, ‘breathing new life into furniture’ through upcycling.

It is a small step, in the right direction, bravo Špeceraj, we hope this is just the beginning of a zero-waste mentality in Croatia!

dried goods