New store plans ‘to make the zero-waste lifestyle more accessible’ on P.E.I.


This fall there will be another shopping option for people trying to live a zero-waste lifestyle on P.E.I.

Unpacked will be located inside the Kent Street Market at the Confederation Court Mall in Charlottetown. 

It is essentially the same as a regular grocery store, owner Britannia Willes told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

“But everything is sold in bulk,” she said. 

“I will be stocking some items that do come in packaging, but it will be cardboard so most of it is actually compostable.”

‘Very excess packaging’

She moved to P.E.I. six months ago from Vancouver where she lived a zero-waste lifestyle. Willes tried to keep that up when she moved to the Island, but she said it was difficult.

“Everything basically comes in very excess packaging. For example spinach is basically impossible to find outside plastic packaging.”

Willes wanted to try and solve the problem herself and she said living the lifestyle isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it.

Britannia Willes will have sustainable options for things like compostable kitchen brushes at her zero-waste store. (Submitted by Britannia Willes)

“It does take a little bit of time management and planning, but it’s not difficult per se. I really do think that everyone can do it.”

That is the main idea behind Unpacked, Willes said.

“Just to make the zero-waste lifestyle more accessible to people.”

Help from community

Willes plans to start with a few products at the store and expand over time, she said.

“Nuts, grains, produce, very basic food items. And then also sustainable alternatives to household products.”

Products like compostable toilet brushes and toothbrushes, Willes said.

I want to make sure that the prices are competitive.— Britannia Willes

She has been sourcing products for a year and a half and Willes said she got some help from another zero-waste store based out of Ottawa called Nu Grocery.

She also said she’s had a lot of support from the zero-waste community.

Will the price be right?

As for pricing, Willes said it will be comparable to a regular store.

“I want to make sure that the prices are competitive.”

Willes said she is going to try to have low enough prices that it will incentivize those who may not be concerned with sustainability to come into the store.

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