Published 14 October 2018 ● Last Updated on 4 August 2022

Did you know packaging accounts for one-third of the waste generated in Singapore?

The vacuum-sealed rice, the foil-bagged cereal, the individually packed wafers, the mummified toffees… the packaging for anything and everything adds up very quickly to fill up the dustbin after a regular supermarket visit. Do we have a choice to avoid these? Can we reduce our trash? Actually – yes we can!

Here’s our list of new and old establishments that sell dry goods with minimal packaging. If you go armed with your reusable containers, you will find your aim of an eco-friendly lifestyle much easier to achieve!

UnPackt

6 Jalan Kuras, Singapore 577724.
Website, Facebook

One of the new zero waste stores in Singapore, UnPackt opened to a lot of well-deserved attention in May 2018. Co-founders Florence Tay and Jeff Lam want to provide an experience that isn’t wasteful as modern shopping sadly tends to be. The problem with the current supermarket model isn’t just the overuse of packaging, they say, but also that people are forced to buy in pre-decided quantities. When people buy more than what they need because of standard product sizing- they pay more, and waste more too.

zero waste unpackt founders
Co-founders Florence Tay and Jeff Lam at Unpackt store

At the UnPackt store we visited in Jalan Kuras, we found a range of dry goods – grains, oils, nuts, snacks, tea & coffee, eco-detergents, and more – all of which we could buy in any amount we needed. Payment was by weight, prices were reasonable, and behind the labels on their transparent containers, quality of produce was visibly impressive. Customers are expected to bring in their own bottles / jars etc – however there is a small shelf of used but clean containers you can use in case you forget. UnPackt also sells a range of lifestyle products that match the zero waste lifestyle – such as metals draws, shampoo bars, reusable cutlery, etc.

Response to UnPackt has been enthusiastic – and they now have an online delivery system. This makes it even easier for us to support a no-packaging concept store, which frankly, was long overdue in Singapore!

unpackt zero waste

Scoop Wholefoods

163 Tanglin Road, #02-17/18 Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933.
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-148, Great World City, Singapore 237994.
10 Paya Lebar Road Paya Lebar Quarter Mall, #B1-07/08/09, Singapore 409057.
50 Jurong Gateway Rd, #01-12 Jem, Singapore 608549
290 Orchard Rd, #B1-28 Paragon Shopping Centre, Singapore 238859
252 North Bridge Rd, #B1-27 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 189768
80 Marine Parade Rd, #01-32 Parkway Parade, Singapore 449269
83 Punggol Central, #01-02 Waterway Point, Singapore 828761

Website, Facebook

unpackaged foods at Scoop Wholefoods Singapore
Widest selection of unpackaged foods in Singapore – and some pre-packaged goodies to inspire home cooking!

Scoop Wholefoods is an established bulk goods store with multiple locations in in Australia – so no surprise, it was able to offer a tantalizingly wide range of foods since Day 1 of opening its first international franchise in Singapore. At their inaugural store in Tanglin Mall, the opened to aisles filled with nuts, seeds, chocolates, even lentils and rice varieties. There are oils to pour, whole walnuts to scoop, rock salt can be bought to measure. On top of all that, you can use their machines to make and leave with fresh nut butter. Zero-wasters will feel like kids in a candy store! With swift expansion, there are now 8 stores spread across the city, as well as online shopping available.

Purchasing process in-store is streamlined and easy. Customers can carry their own jars/bags and print a label at the entrance to record the container’s weight. Then they scoop in whatever they wish to buy, and self-mark the codes of the product. I went in with all the junk mail plastic covers I get via post: very useful in minimizing the weight of my final bag in case you want to use this tip! Should you forget to carry your own containers, small paper bags are free and glass jars can be purchased.

unpackaged foods at Scoop Wholefoods Singapore

Kilogramme Eco Grocer

B1-142/143 , 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City, Singapore 237994.
#01-05A, 501 Bukit Timah Rd, Cluny Court, 259760

##01-24/25, 407 Northshore Drive, Northshore Plaza 1, Singapore 820407
Website, Facebook

This modern, well-stocked store can keep the healthy-eaters and sweet-toothers alike! There kombucha on tap #madeinsingapore, wild honey from Australia, a distracting long list of sweets and confectioneries (with many options for vegans), superfoods galore (from Phyllum husk to bone broth powder), and yes – even a nut butter machine gorging out fresh cashew, almond and ABC spreads.

unpackaged foods at The Source Singapore

The shop is a new brand – but has jumpstarted by taking over the existing stores of Australian bulk goods store The Source.  For those who find the stores out of their way – do look up their their online order and delivery system.

The Social Space

333 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-14, Singapore 080333.
5 Straits View, #01-03 (Garden Tower), Marina One Residences, Singapore 018935.

Website, Facebooksocial space sustainable store

The Social Space is a multi-concept store featuring a Tea Bar & Café, a fair trade retail area and a nail salon, all upholding sustainability principles in the way goods and services are sold. When you visit, carry your own containers to buy from their section-full of package free cleaners – castile soaps, floor cleaners, dishwashing liquids, etc. And definitely keep some time aside tastings at their cafe – temptation is guaranteed! There are no straws and no disposables of course; we loved delicious glass-bottled vegan beverages we tried, and though we succeeded in avoiding the desserts, you may lack our strong willpower!

social space beverages unpackaged

Vom Fass

2 Orchard Turn, #04-25 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801.
50 Jurong Gateway Road, #01-10 Jem, Singapore 608549
Website

Looking for quality oils and liquors? Vom Fass has a delectable and exhaustive range to choose from. It is fresh from the cask, and tasters are often at hand to convince you of the difference that this brings! Find olive oils, argan oil, vinegars, even various whiskeys. You can carry own bottle or buy their reusable glass bottles to buy your desired item.

Vom Fass
Photo Credit: Vom Fass

The Castile Soap Shop

69 Ubi Road 1, Oxley Bizhub, 06-32 (lift lobby 3), Singapore 408731
Website, Facebook

If it is specifically soap you are after, this store is what you are looking for. The shop stocks a variety of toiletries actually – including a lot of organic formulations for people and even pets. But what zero wasters will particularly appreciate are the boxes on taps of Vermont Castile soap! They even run a Mobile Refill – a housecall service – to get liquids you can refill at your doorstep. (Minimum charges apply)

Photo Credit: The Castille Soap Shop

The Old Kids on the Block!

Albert Centre, 270 Queen Street, Singapore 180270.
Teck Sang, 11 Hong Kong Street. Singapore.
Fu Lu Shou Complex, 149 Rochor Road, Singapore 188425.
Victoria Wholesale market, 101 Kallang avenue, Singapore 339508.

Our shops list would be incomplete without a nod to the traditional bulk sellers – who have kept up with providing bulk, packaging-free selling for donkeys years! 

We discovered these gems in Singapore first due to our research for this article. For those of you that have missed this bit entirely – we certainly had – Singapore has a some well-stocked dry goods markets. Albert Centre and Lu Fu Shou Complex, Brash Basah, are the ones we visited with our own bags and boxes. From dried fruits and nuts to fried fish maw, duck web, lup cheong, red dates, dried plums and such – you get everything possible in the dry foods category. Being wholesale markets, the prices are very reasonable. But the best part is that not a single store sales person flinched at a request for no plastic. All the stores where we took clean boxes, bags and bottles – to get our purchase back in – did not find the request unusual! The address list above lists only some of the dry goods bulk markets in Singapore (we are sure there are more!).

dry bulk goods fu lu show complex singapore secondsguru

Two Sisters Pantry

50 East Coast Road, #01-43 Roxy Square, Singapore 428769.
Website

Though not a packaging-free store by design, Two Sisters still deserves a bookmark from the greenies in the East Coast. The shop is run by, you guessed it, two sisters – one managing the outlet, and another sourcing a range of products from Australia that a natural living enthusiast would appreciate. They have a wall full of bulk containers – including chia seeds, couscous, rolled oats, various types of chocolates, and more – and you can buy in the quantities you prefer. The shop supports customers who get their own containers – but also has resealable plastic bags at hand for those who don’t.

bulk dry foods at two sisters pantry

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