MAPS - Plasticfree options in BXL

MAPS - Plasticfree options in BXL

On this map I've located the shops and markets in Brussels where it is possible to buy food and cosmetics without packaging.

  • Organic groceries with bulk products:

These places (indicated in red on the map) are the shops where I usually buy my food. It's almost like a sort of pilgrimage every Saturday or Sunday because each store has its specific products which are not available everywhere. Some shops are cheap for the rice (Bio Shop Den Teepot) for example and but a bit more expensive for the vegetables (cheaper and more choice at Marché des Tanneurs). At Färm you'll be able to find a wild variety of bulk products - even almond powder and tea ;-) - but they don't have sugar in bulk, which you can find at Marché des Tanneurs and then again the bulk at Färm is in average also more expensive then Bio Shop or Tanneurs. At Natural Corner they refill your Ecover cleaning products, which is awesome. At the Bio Shop you can buy toilet paper in compostable packaging. La Crèmerie de Linkebeek sells milk in returnable glass bottles and the best cheeses of Brussels. Finally, I buy all the cosmetics that I can't make myself at Lush.

  • Farmers Markets:

Markets (the blue dots on the map) are the best opportunity to meet the locals, to chat with the producers and retailers or just to stroll, to take you place as a person, as a pedestrian, in the public space. Personally, I didn't go that often yet to the market because of my busy work schedules, but it is definitely something I would like to do more often...

  • Recup' Food:

A few organisations in Brussels (check the orange dots on the map) fight against food waste. Once a week they organise a dinner with unsold and wasted food. Immerse yourself in subject with this very interesting article by Ezelstad about 6 projects in Brussels around food waste.

  • Solidarity purchasing groups (Gasap):

This is a group of citizens that agree to make bulk purchases directly from a farmer. In general, the group is committed to a year and pays its purchases three months in advance, which gives farmers financial security and allows it to better plan and manage its production.
Buying in group and directly form the farmer allows attractive prices and restores a more natural connection between the vegetables we eat, where and how they are grown. What might scare some, is the fact that you do not choose the vegetables you'll receive. But very quickly, you'll realize that this is the opportunity to eat more diverse, to discover vegetables and recipes. Be aware that it does not always mean your vegetables are bio because not all producers are certified. So go and see by yourself, ask questions and check the information on the website of the Solidarity Purchasing Group of Agro-Ecological Agriculture in Brussels: GASAP/SAGAL.

  • Bio Baskets:

I'm not a big fan of this last option and I'll tell you why. The baskets are delivered in collection points (stores in general). There is almost always one intermediary (at least!) between the consumer and the farmer. Which of course raises the price of the basket, and allows less transparency on the traceability of the products. Many baskets are actually filled by large bio central, the same that also deliver to the supermarkets ...  You're never really sure form where the products come and it's not always guaranteed to be local. In short, be aware of the green marketing and inform yourself well. Aricovert is a co-operative of growers, farmers and other producers with several delivery points in Brussels.