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Recommended: Idaho’s First ‘Zero-Waste’ Grocery Store Opens

Roots Zero Waste Market
Zach Yunker and Lea Rainey

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — On the opposite end of Garden City’s stretch of Chinden Boulevard from the Fred Meyer store at Glenwood Street, Lea Rainey and Zach Yunker were getting ready last week to open a radically different grocery store.

At Roots Zero Waste Market, you won’t see aisles packed with products encased in oversized cardboard boxes or plastic containers. Packaging is minimal: Paper covers some bars of soap and toilet paper. Cleaning products come in glass spray jars in which water gets added to a powder at home. Refills come in small tins.

Fruits and vegetables from Boise’s Global Gardens and other suppliers will be packed loose in display bins. There won’t be any plastic bags or even rubber bands to keep carrots and scallions in bunches.

“We’ve told our purveyors we don’t want plastic on our vegetables or rubber bands, so they will package them in a different way,” Rainey said. “Our larger fruit vendors won’t give us anything in plastic clamshells. It’s something we asked them for, and most people are willing to accommodate us.”

Rainey and Yunker planned to open Roots last year, but they said it took them longer than expected to obtain city permits and renovate the building. The store, which will employ about 15, held its grand opening Saturday.

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About the author


Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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