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Épicerie Basta
Photograph: Épicerie Basta / @epiceriebasta

This new grocery store in the Plateau is cutting out single-use plastics in a big way

Épicerie Basta is the latest in Montreal's growing selection of ecologically-minded grocery stores aimed at conventional packaging.

By JP Karwacki
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The Plateau's welcomed Épicerie Basta, a new grocery store that aims to reduce single-use plastic packaging in its stock by replacing it with reusable containers.

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The grocery store is offering pre-packaged foods in reusable containers that are returnable on a deposit bases; Basta handles the washing, which is a step in the right direction of reducing waste in recycling bins and trash cans.

Beautifully decorated in murals by Cécile Gariépy, the store is receiving new products every week that focus on local sourcing with its products, ready-to-eat meals, baked goods, cosmetics, household cleaners, and so forth. and household products, etc. A full refrigerator is even dedicated to microbrewery beers and wine. In addition, almost everything comes exclusively from Quebec suppliers .

While not dealing in bulk items or acting as a completely zero-waste grocery store, Basta's arrival in the city marks a growing trend in grocery stores in Montreal. From organic and recycled packagaing at bulk locations like Méga Vrac and LOCO to stocking locally-made, organic and sustainable products (or a combination thereof) that range from food to cleaning products, grocery stores are one sector that's leading change in a big way. 

In 2019, the City of Montreal joined these initiatives by announcing that it wanted the city to go waste-free by 2030 by barring large grocery store chains from throwing organic waste away, instead donating them to charitable organizations; the Moisson Montréal food bank has, for example, received more than 1 million kilograms of food from its ongoing partnership with Provigo, IGA and Metro grocery stores since 2013.

Épicerie Basta is open at 505 Rachel Est all week from 8am to 8pm.

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