Close Subscribe

Get the Weekly Recap!!

Get recaps, exclusive offers, stories and discounts. We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.

Zero Waste Shopping in Philly: Where to Buy Groceries in Bulk
Food

Zero Waste Shopping in Philly: Where to Buy Groceries in Bulk

Containers and packages account for 23 percent of landfill waste, equal to about 39 million tons per year, according to the EPA.

Zero waste shopping eliminates this considerable amount of damage to the ecosystem, buying in bulk being a cheaper and eco-friendly method to purchasing groceries.

NOTE: The pandemic has shifted many of the bulk bins (often replacing for pre-bagged items), although those thinner plastic bags can be recycled in the plastic bag recycling bins. Some of the gravity bins (I.e. those that pour down) are still in operation at various stores. Call the store’s location before bringing your own containers.

Where to find bulk grocery bins in Philly

These local stores in Philly, along with their other locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are offering a large supply of options for consumers.

Mariposa Food Co-op

Mariposa, Facebook

Bulk Items: grains, pasta, flours, dried herbs and fruits, coffee and tea, even oils and vinegars, according to Mariposa’s webpage.

Location(s): 4824 Baltimore Avenue in West Philly.

Weavers Way Co-op

Weavers Way, Facebook

Bulk Items: “There are many varieties of granolas, grains, beans, and bulk pasta to choose from, not to mention the harder-to-find items such as dried black trumpet, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, and chipotle, habanero and ancho chiles,” according to Weavers Way’s webpage

Location(s): 8424 Germantown Ave in Chestnut Hill, 559 Carpenter Lane in Mt. Airy, & 217 E. Butler St. in Ambler.

MOM’s Organic Market

MOM’s Organic Market, Facebook

Bulk Items: All locations sell dry goods, spices, coffee, tea, and bar soap. 

Location(s): 34 South 11th Street in Center City, 1149 E. Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr & 1631 Kings Hwy N. in Cherry Hill.

Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market, Facebook

Bulk Items: Variety of nuts, beans, candy, trail mix, & grains

Location(s): 1000 S. Broad St. in Philadelphia, 227 Route 73 S in Marlton, NJ, & a new location coming soon in Dresher.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market, Instagram

Bulk Items: Beans (white, black, pinto, lentils), dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins), & herbs/spices (oregano, paprika). 

Location(s): 8th & South streets in Queen Village 22nd St. & Pennsylvania Ave in Fairmount and more locations in Philly suburbs and South Jersey

Riverwards

Riverwards, Facebook

Bulk Items: “a bulk section full of nuts and grains,” according to Riverwards’ webpage.

Location(s): 2200 E. Norris Street in the Fishtown Area of Philadelphia.

Kensington Community Food Co-op

Kensington Community Food Co-op, Facebook

Bulk Items: grains, nuts, flours, herbs, or coffee, according to KCFC’s webpage

Location(s): 2670 Coral Street in Philadelphia.

While not every grocery supplier has a section dedicated to bulk shopping, there are stores that offer the option if customers bring their own bins/containers.

If you are unsure of whether your local grocery stores have bulk sections, just call and ask!

Broke in Philly
Broke in Philly is a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Green Philly is one of more than 20 news organizations in the collective. Follow us on Twitter @BrokeInPhilly.

Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
array(7) {
  [0]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5720 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3656)
    ["name"]=>
    string(15) "Broke in Philly"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(15) "broke-in-philly"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3664)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(42)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [1]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5795 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(2687)
    ["name"]=>
    string(9) "bulk bins"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(9) "bulk-bins"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(2700)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(3)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [2]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5798 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3736)
    ["name"]=>
    string(13) "bulk shopping"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(13) "bulk-shopping"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3744)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(2)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [3]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5799 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(2836)
    ["name"]=>
    string(7) "grocery"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(7) "grocery"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(2850)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(4)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [4]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5813 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(486)
    ["name"]=>
    string(14) "local business"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(14) "local-business"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(489)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(16)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [5]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5814 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(1848)
    ["name"]=>
    string(21) "Where Can I Wednesday"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(21) "where-can-i-wednesday"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(1858)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(218)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [6]=>
  object(WP_Term)#5815 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3209)
    ["name"]=>
    string(10) "zero waste"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(10) "zero-waste"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3217)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(33)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
}
Jamie is a junior at Villanova University double majoring in English and Communications with a specialization in Media Production. She is currently an Editorial Intern at Green Philly. In her spare time she enjoys writing poetry and short stories, along with watching movies and exploring Philly. View all posts by Jamie McClelland

3 thoughts on “Zero Waste Shopping in Philly: Where to Buy Groceries in Bulk

  1. What studies have been done on the efficacy of bulk bin shopping? I used to be a volunteer member of a co-op and I refilled those bins. The contents come in huge, thick plastic bags. They get ‘recycled’ but we know that in most cases that doesn’t actually happen. Once the bag is open, the perishable clock is ticking and if you don’t sell it soon it goes bad and you have to throw it away, which contributes to food waste. There is also waste from spills, and the fact that most people don’t bring their own containers and use the store bags. How is something that is bagged twice in plastic and spoils quicker more sustainable?

    For many years the common environmental wisdom said ‘you have to recycle’ and we took it at face value because it felt like it must be true, only to realize later it was wrong. Now it’s ‘bulk bin shopping is the answer!’ but no one offers analysis to prove it’s true. Maybe it is true, I hope it is, but would love to see more articles using data and scientific analysis to demonstrate the case for bulk bin shopping.

  2. Great post! However, might want to update as both Whole Foods and Sprouts have eliminated bulk options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Green Philly

Featured
In These
Great Spots: