Amsterdam is one of those cities that actually make sustainable living effortless. From observing a ban on free plastic bags to combat plastic pollution to offering conscious shopping options in various neighborhoods, the city’s goal to actively engage residents with its overall sustainability plan is remarkable.

As an answer to the rising consumers’ demand for sustainable products and shopping formats, the city of Amsterdam steps up, offering creative and easy-to-adopt solutions that appeal to many. The most popular solutions include:

Zero-Waste Shops

Zero-waste shops across Amsterdam work with the concept of providing their goods to consumers in an eco-friendly manner.

The products offered at zero-waste shops are largely organic, locally sourced, and unpackaged. Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to shop for bulk items or to use paper bags from the shop.

What’s great about this zero-waste concept is that it also nudges larger stores like Albert Heijn to think more sustainably. For example, earlier this year, the chain introduced packaging-free shopping at some locations, where customers could fill reusable bags or jars with loose products like pasta, tea, and nuts.

Did you know? Amsterdam restaurants are doing their part too! Before you make your next dinner plans, make sure to check out IAmsterdam’s list of sustainable and low-waste dining options available around the city.

Sustainable Clothing

Whether it’s in the form of buying second-hand clothes, investing in pieces that last longer, or purchasing clothing items made of upcycled material, Amsterdam offers it all.

Aside from having ethical and sustainable Dutch brands on the market, the widespread availability of pre-loved vintage clothing stores within Amsterdam is simply applause-worthy.

To top it all off, fashion startups in the capital have made it their mission to address this issue, launching initiatives and creating businesses that serve sustainability-conscious consumers.

Scotch & Soda, an Amsterdam-based turned global brand, is one example. In keeping with its mission, the company publishes an annual sustainability report highlighting major milestones.

Reusable Products

Cotton shopping bags, bamboo coffee cups, silicone baking mats, and reusable sandwich wraps, are all part of the fast-paced city living of Amsterdam.

The next time you’re at a cafe, don’t be shy to ask if using your own reusable cup is possible. Another good to know is that some local restaurants are partnered with Amsterdam-based SwapBox, a zero-waste reusable packaging service, so you can enjoy your next takeout order in their packaging at no cost to you!

Farm-to-Shelf Solutions

Amsterdam, among many things, is a market city, which not only enforces farm-to-shelf practices but also combats shop-enforced waste — because buying one plastic-wrapped bell pepper at the supermarket is questionable.

Additionally, shopping at markets directly supports workers, and gives you a chance to explore the local culture and include in-season ingredients in your diet.



If you’re new to Amsterdam, or an existing Amsterdammer, we hope you recognize and participate in the different eco-friendly aspects of this great city. And if you are considering this green city as the next destination for you, your family, or your business, don’t hesitate to contact us, your local destination service provider as the experts on everything related to moving to Amsterdam.

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