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‘Zero-Waste’ Stores Are Helping Consumers Cut Back on Plastic

Across the US, a growing number of new retailers are selling mostly in bulk to customers toting reusable containers.

As more Americans try to cut back on plastic consumption, opting for zero-waste stores that avoid it is increasingly in vogue.  

As more Americans try to cut back on plastic consumption, opting for zero-waste stores that avoid it is increasingly in vogue.  

Photographer: Thomas Teal/Bloomberg

Amber Haukedahl’s journey to zero-waste shopping started with a toothbrush. 

Four years ago, the conservation biologist from Minneapolis decided to cut down on her plastic consumption, investing in household alternatives like mesh produce bags, unpaper towels and bamboo cutlery. But when Haukedahl turned to buying a bamboo toothbrush, the only options she could find were on Amazon — an e-tailer whose packaging habits she says would have “totally defeated the purpose.”