There's a solidarity shop that gives work to people who have been unemployed for over 6 months, a retro-style grocery store and a self-managed pop-up store: here's a list of the loose product shops in Milan.

In order to reduce the production of food and detergent packaging, a contribution equal to 20% of the purchase cost of loose and on-tap products without primary or secondary packaging will be recognized in 2020, 2021 and 2022“. This is what the Climate decree draft reads, which was announced at the beginning of September by Minister Sergio Costa, at the core of the “green maneuver” determining Prime Minister Conte‘s government program number two.

Loose product shops in Milan

While waiting for the agreement to take shape, it’s wise to start reorganising one’s daily expenses, finding alternative solutions and trying as much as possible to reduce the amount of packaging. A few examples? Relying on produce markets, delis and specialized loose product stores: here are the must-visit ones in Milan.

Bio c’ Bon

A brand that focuses on organic farming with several city-wide locations (and abroad): Bio c’ Bon products include a variety of ones sold loose and on tap, such as rice, quinoa, legumes, ready-made soups mixtures, pistachios, millet, different nuts, seeds, corn flakes and muesli. There is no tare calculation, so it’s advisable to bring one’s own light bags from home (maybe paper bags recovered from other purchases) instead of heavy glass jars.

Bio c’ Bon – più indirizzi – bio-c-bon.eu/it

Negozio Leggero

We have already talked about the history of Negozio Leggero, the quality products of this project are also available in Milan, and the same rules apply. No plastic bags, you bring your own from home and possibly even your own containers (despite the fact that the shop also provides paper bags). In addition to the wide selection of foods sans packaging, we remind you that you can subscribe to their newsletter to receive weekly updates and tips to conduct a more sustainable lifestyle, recipes for homemade cosmetics and for cooking without waste.

Negozio Leggero – via Augusto Anfossi, 13 – negozioleggero.it/

Mamma Natura

Spices, organic coffee beans, infusions, legumes… all kinds of loose products can be found at Mamma Natura, which also offers online shopping. Pasta, biscuits, herb rubs for roasts, salts, rice: each product is sold without packaging, and there are also gluten-free pastas perfect for coeliacs. Lots of cosmetics and home products, plus a series of tips for tasty recipes available on their website.

Mamma Natura – via Carnia, 7 – mammanatura.eu/

Casa Occupata Gorizia

This is the headquarters of Spaccio Popolare Autogestito by the Elicriso Cultural Association, which is committed since 1999 to promote a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature; giving visibility to ethical rural workers that rely on techniques and practices of the past to obtain their livelihood from the Earth. The place also organises events, meetups, creative writing courses, and a place to purchase fair trade food products, many of which are sold loose, including legumes, flour, grains and spices. Plus sauces, preserves, wine, cheese and seasonal produce, stocked every Saturday.

Casa Occupata Gorizia – via Vigevano, 2a – facebook.com/Casa-Occupata-Gorizia-1496785027244743/

Effecorta

With a wide range of select loose foods can also be purchased at Effecorta, a store born in Capannori in 2009 and now in Milan since 2013. There’s also a shop in Padua and soon one in Bologna, too. This project is dedicated to small niche producers, true protagonists of the retail: in the stores there’s space for companies sensitive to environmental issues and the reduction of waste, attentive to packaging and recycling. Shelves chock with bread, fruit, vegetables, preserves, wine, jams and loose products to bring home in one’s own containers.

Effecorta – via Franco Faccio, 11 – effecorta.it/

Biosballo

Five individuals coming from different environments and places, but with one thing in common: boundless love for nature, and the desire to show the public that a different way of shopping is now possible, without unnecessary packaging. This is how Biosballo was born, an “organic without packaging” store, as their motto reads. A well-stocked place where you can buy sweet and savoury snacks, flour, yeast, legumes, grains, nuts, pasta and house cleaning products on tap.

Biosballo – Sesto San Giovanni (MI) – via Guglielmo Marconi, 11 – biosballo.it/it/

Casa Mediterraneo

A classic old-school grocery store, where you can find quality artisan products, from biscuits to pasta, plus foods sold loose, such as spices, nuts, sugared almonds, seeds and grains. There is also an assorted delicatessen counter, with hot dishes that are constantly changing, perfect for a quick and tasty lunch break.

Casa Mediterraneo – via Pacini, 35 – facebook.com/casamediterraneo35/

Zeropercento

This is a solidarity shop offering loose organic products sourced at local farms and social cooperatives. Namastè Cooperativa Sociale Onlus is the backbone of the project, a social coop that works to reintegrate into the working world citizens who have been unemployed for at least 6 months. The shop sells jams and sauces, wine, beer, meat and organic eggs, plus unpackaged spices, grains and legumes.

Zeropercento – via Padre Luigi Monti, 24a – zeropercento.org/

Water and milk on tap

For water, remember that you can fill your bottles at the tap distributors in Naturasì stores; or that you can buy glass bottles or contact the water houses (without forgetting that tap water in Milan is perfectly drinkable). For milk, on the other hand, there is Breakpoint24, which is also open at night; and then Azienda Agricola Cascina Campazzo, near the Parco Urbano del Ticinello, as well as all the points on the Milk Maps platform, which are however located out of town.

Breakpoint24 – via Padova – facebook.com/pages/Breakpoint24/114631095263031?nr  – Azienda Agricola Cascina Campazzo – via Marcello Dudovich, 10 – parcoticinello.it/cascina-campazzo.html

by Michela Becchi