Monday, June 27, 2011

Start shopping at bulk store / bring my own containers (Changes 122 & 123)

I recently discovered Bulk Barn.

I've used it sparingly in the past, for incidentals such as foil-wrapped cake plates, or for renting special cake pans.  But I've never used it for anything else.  Until DS's birthday party.

He chose a Lego themed party, complete with cake and goody bags.  Someone told me I could get little candies shaped like Lego blocks, so off to Bulk Barn I went.  I couldn't believe the number of things available for bulk purchase.  The number of items I could use was amazing, all in bulk, all at discount prices, and all without the excess packaging. Flour, candy, pasta, baking supplies, honey, nut butters, tea, the list goes on.

I found the block candies, but didn't think to bring a small reusable produce bag or small glass/plastic container to put them in, so ended up using the plastic bags available there.  I bought several other items as well, all dutifully put in plastic bags.  I couldn't believe the waste, using these little bags.

I'm going to add BB to my list of stores to shop at.  I just need to remember to bring my own containers.


  1. You can't use your own containers at Bulk Barn! So, this is how you make an end run around them.

    1. Bring produce bags and use them anyway. ;) They won't make you return the stuff.

    2. Use their plastic tubs for the gooey stuff like peanut butter. Decant it into your own glass stuff at home and then bring back their tubs for refill. Not really allowed, but it is how to get around it.

    3. Complain to the manager so that other shoppers can hear. My husband said that the other customers were perturbed that this was a policy.

    4. Write to the company.

    They will tell you it is for health reasons. However, it is not a Health Canada rule, just a company policy.

  2. Really? Darn! :( Here I thought I would be soooooo environmentally-friendly bringing my own containers. Well, I'll definitely use the cloth produce bags for the hard stuff, like pasta. I'll figure out what to do about the rest.

    What about at natural food shops? Are we allowed to re-use containers there for food and cosmetics? Anyone know?

  3. You just gave me another good idea to be environmentally friendly while doing my grocery shopping. The least I do for being environmentally friendly is to bring my reusable totes so that I can limit the number of plastic bags used. However, I finally got an idea to use bottles brought from home to get the bulk flour, sugar and such. Thank you so much for giving me more tips on being more environmentally friendly, cheers!

    North Vancouver Appliance Repair

  4. Thanks for the offer, its very good opportunity.

    Bulk Containers

  5. Hey guys, there is a new (as in just today) petition started to convince Bulk Barn to reverse its backwards policy on mandatory single use plastics.

    Sign and share it around. Hopefully together we can get them to change and provide Canada wide access to plastic free food shopping!