To find physical shops that sell packaging-free products (for example, stores that offer products in bulk bins and allow you to use your own cloth bags or reusable containers), try the BULK mobile site from The Zero Waste Home. You don’t have to register to search the database, but if you do register, you can add new locations and help others.
Below is an ongoing list of businesses providing products that can help us live with less plastic. What are your favorites? Want to suggest something that is not listed? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
Natural personal care products with little to no packaging, including shampoo bars, deodorant, moisturizers, scrubs, and soaps. Read my review of their Coconut Silk Deodorant.
Convenient compressible bags stuff into their own attached sack. I keep several of these in my purse at all times. Yes, they are made from synthetic materials, but they make remembering to bring a bag so easy that I think they're worth it.
Berkeley, CA. Reusable containers and many other plastic-free eco-friendly household/personal care items. Huge library of books that can be borrowed. Runs sustainability workshops and tours.
Reusable stainless steel lunch containers and other foodware, as well as cloth lunch bags and wraps and other accessories.
Packaging made from mushrooms that takes the place of Styrofoam.
Many plastic-free household products. Not just for boats! I purchased stainless steel wine glasses to take with me to a music festival from GreenBoatStuff.com. Read about those wine glasses as well as my interview with the owner Eric Allen here. (Disclosure: My Plastic-free Life is a GreenBoatStuff.com affiliate.)
Natural wheat cat litter that comes in a paper bag.
Kippy's Ice Cream Shop:
Venice, CA. Producer of organic, raw sorbet packaged in glass jars. Truly Raw Gourmet will give a free jar of sorbet to customers who return 12 glass jars to the company to be reused.
Berkeley, CA. Fabulous herb shop with two locations offering a huge selection of bulk herbs and spices, for which you can bring your own bags and jars to fill, and essential oils in glass bottles.
Life Without Plastic:
A huge selection of plastic-free household items. Life Without Plastic is committed to developing and discovering products made from natural materials and is constantly adding new items. Read my post about Life Without Plastic here. (Disclosure: Life Without Plastic is a My Plastic-free Life advertiser.)
San Francisco, CA. The largest selection of bulk items I have ever seen. In addition to dry stuff, they sell oils, nut butters, even fresh pasta in bulk. Personal care products too. Although it's common for customers to bring their own bags and containers, it seems that a greater percentage still take new plastic bags. Procedure: weigh containers yourself on scale in back of bulk section and use stickers provided to mark the weight. Be sure and write the bin number after filling up so the cashier knows what the product is. Read my report on Rainbow Grocery here.
Spanish online shop selling lots of plastic-free items to locations throughout Europe.
Compostable cleaning cloths made from cotton and natural cellulose that replace synthetic sponges and paper towels. Read my review of Skoy cloths here.
Compostable food and drinkware made from plastic-free materials. While they do carry a small selection of corn-based and recycled plastics, most of the products do not contain any kind of plastic at all. And many items are made by visually impaired people in the United States.