« Le Vrac », what is it?
Bulk-buying. It’s another method of buying: you go to a store with your container (an empty jar, a glass bottle…) that you refill with the product that you need. Several stores in Lyon offer bulk products today, so you can take advantage of your stay to try out this experience.
Why buy « en vrac »?
You can do it for the environment, since you will reduce your waste by buying in bulk, but you can also do it to reduce the cost of your stay in France: buying in bulk allows you to save 15 to 40%, and what’s more, you only buy the quantity that you need! A good deal for your wallet!
Rice, pasta, sugar, cereal, nuts, dried fruit, coffee, oil, laundry detergent…you can easily find a lot of everyday products in bulk.
How do I find and leave my containers?
You can start your collection with your jars from your first purchases: jars of jam and bottles of fruit juice, once washed you can reuse them for your pasta and your olive oil.
In stores that offer bulk-buying, you can also ask if they have extra containers or containers left by other customers. When you leave France, you can leave your own containers in those same stores so that someone else can use them after you.
Otherwise, to avoid bringing your own jars (they’re heavy!), you can use « sacs à vrac » (bulk bags) in paper or even better, in cloth! You can sew them, otherwise there are up-and-coming companies in the metropolitan area that sell some hand-made ones, in organic cotton or upcycled: Kufu, Mamie Colette, Joséphine accessoires...
Next to our premises at the Maison de l’Etudiant, you can go to the store 3 ptits pois for example, but you can find bulk stores all over Lyon: A la source near Part-Dieu, Day by Day at Perrache, Bulko near l’Opéra, Mamie Marie in Lyon 6, De l’autre côté de la Rue at Guillotière, or Le biocal at Villeurbanne, Prairial at Vaulx-en-Velin or the Super Halle at Oullins. Biocoop stores or l’Eau vive also offer bulk.
To find these good addresses and other ones, you can check out the website of « Zéro Déchet Lyon » who has posted a map of stores that allow you to bring your own containers.
Thanks to Emma from the association Zéro Déchet Lyon for her help: to find out more about the ZeroWaste movement, meetup at their « apéros » (aperitifs/cocktail hour) and workshops throughout the year.
*Source: Famille Zero Dechet Ze guide