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First zero-waste shop opens in Budapest


  • We Love Budapest

  • Petra Berende

5/28/2018 10:37 AM

Budapest is full of green initiatives and sustainability is on the increase. All around the city, hangouts and festivals have been trying to reduce their ecological footprint by introducing reusable glasses and recycled paper trays, and encouraging guests not to use straws with their drinks. Newly opened grocery store Ligeti Bolt District XIII has just upped the ante by selling olive oil, pasta, nuts, vegetables and dairy products, all free from plastic packaging.

Just a short walk from major shopping hub WestEnd City Center, a quiet side street is attracting those who like to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Kresz Géza utca is now home to a new supermarket that looks like an ordinary grocery store from the outside. Upon entering, you soon notice that most products are displayed in bulk.

Photo: Mudra László - We Love Budapest

Plastic bags are nowhere to be seen – fine teas, farm eggs and vegetables are distributed in canvas bags that are available to purchase on the spot. Organic olive oil, hand-made cherry syrup, fresh cows’ milk and rhubarb jam come in glass bottles. However, shoppers can also bring their own containers and fill them with the desired quantity.

Photo: Mudra László - We Love Budapest

To set up Ligeti Bolt, founder Melinda Sipos took her inspiration from American Bea Johnson, ambassador of the Zero Waste lifestyle. Sipos is now introducing a similar concept in Budapest. Even the sourcing of her shop’s merchandise is part of this sustainable plan. Goods are delivered in mass quantities, instead of small packs, while Sipos is often on the lookout for buying goods stored in reusable containers.

As a customer at this shop, you pay for the flour, rice, sugar and many other products by their measured weight – it’s a smart way to avoid buying any excess. Specialities include locally made pasta, one variety made with spinach, the other one with tomatoes. Then there is also organic rice flour, dried fruit and spices. All products are free from artificial ingredients and contain no palm oil.

Ligeti is not only supporting a grab-and-go lifestyle. Fresh coffee and pastries are served at tables, transforming part of the store into a café. For wrapping sandwiches, reusable zipper bags and napkins are available. But you can also come here for hand-made soaps, coconut lotion or natural sunscreen. A good concept, fine products and fair prices are all in place. Now the shop needs one more essential thing – plenty of customers.

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