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I have a vision for a type of grocery store that would buy food in bulk and package on-site into packaging which is 100% reusable (at the store) or truly compostable (unlike many types of so-called "compostable plastics" which require specific conditions to truly break down). Customers would receive a hefty deposit when they return the packaging, and the store would wash and re-use on site.

I'd like to ask the community here to address whether or not this would work in practice. For instance, it doesn't seem that cheese could be readily packaged in glass jars, so it would be interesting to get ideas for ways it could be packaged.

The actual question would be along the lines of "how can every food type be sold in reusable packaging?" and there would likely be many answers, none of which was 100% "correct," unless there was a wiki answer.

Would this be a good fit?

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The general policy on all StackExchange sites is that if you're asking a 'list-question' (meaning there are lots of possible good answers) it's not a good question. The problem is that it's impossible to select a best answer and posts like these tend to become a spam-magnet with many new users writing about their favorite (read: sponsored) product or service in their answer.

There are 2 ways in which lists are allowed:

  1. You could post your question as 'community-wiki'. This way everyone with enough reputation can contribute to a good answer, but no one gets extra reputation for it. Community-wiki questions are great for questions that pop-up regularly on a site.
  2. You can propose an edit in a relevant tag wiki. For example, if you click on the 'learn more...' of the tag you'll see a list of ecological footprint calculators.

Looking at your proposed question "how can every food type be sold in reusable packaging" I don't think any of the 2 options apply. Reusable packaging is a topic that comes up every now and then here on Sustainability SE (the question that comes closest to yours is probably Reusable alternatives to bulk and produce bags at the supermarket) but I'm not sure it's enough to have many users being interested in and contributing to an answer.

Perhaps you can split up your question and ask one for each individual food type you're most interested in? Nevertheless I'd still propose to make such a question community-wiki, unless you are fairly sure the number of potential good answers is limited (say max 5 options). You may want to ask 1 question first to see how the community reacts to it.

  • Thanks, this is very helpful. I think it makes sense to ask per food type, and simply link the questions together as I ask each one. Cheese is the food I'm most interested in, so perhaps I'll start with that... – LShaver Aug 6 '18 at 20:33

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