How the association came about
In 2015, at a time when many entrepreneurs had nowhere to go for information on how to set up a packaging-free business, the need for a professional body became apparent. The association Zero Waste France set out to address the problem and Célia Rennesson agreed to take on the responsibility of the new entity, Packaging-free Network.
To Célia, the idea of an inter-professional association for the packaging-free sector made absolute sense. She had set up her own retail outlet in 2013 and was at a loss for information on regulations, hygiene and suppliers, not to mention in need of training in all these areas.
On 10 March 2016, Gérard Bellet, Laura Caniot, Johanna Le Mau, Sébastien Leflond, Didier Onraita and Ludvina Sanchez and Célia founded Packaging-free Network, as a not-for-profit association with the aim of promoting packaging-free shopping and encouraging sustainable, responsible consumption.
To achieve that aim, the association has three missions :
- To structure and professionalise the packaging-free sector by leading positive lobbying campaigns, publishing informative guides, offering training in the regulatory framework and good hygiene practices and setting up task groups to draw up guidelines for the sector on a number of major topics.
- Promote the sector and its ecosystem, forming a virtuous circle of tools, services, focus groups and partners to bolster members’ business :
- a member area of the website with a directory map, a supplier catalogue a document library and a forum ;
- business intelligence thanks to the review Magazine du Vrac and monthly updates on store openings
- the Salon du Vrac – the packaging-free trade fair – a key event for the promotion of the sector
- carefully selected financial partners to fund projects and help business growth
- focus groups, in particular aiming to reduce waste throughout the entire value chain
- Encourage packaging-free shopping by informing consumers through publications and events and offering guidance to local authorities on how to develop networks.