If you’re anything like us, you’re sick of buying food swaddled in layers of plastic. Luckily, there are plenty of shops embracing ‘bulk shopping’, so you can take your zero waste grocery shopping to the next level.
While it might seem like an innovative step, it actually takes us back to the old way to shop. That’s why zero waste shops often have a nostalgic feel as well as appealing, unpackaged goods.
These shops are popping up all over London. All you need to do is bring along your own food storage containers to refill with anything you need. Here are some of our favourite spots (in no particular order).
This north London shop became the world’s first mainstream supermarket to introduce plastic-free zones, working in partnership with A Plastic Planet. It’s a powerful stance in keeping with the store’s community-centred caring outlook. Get down there with your canvas bags and support them!
These gorgeous shops in Chiswick and Battersea are committed to helping you start your journey to a zero waste lifestyle (just like us!) and stock over 450 bulk foods to help you on the way. If it’s a bit far away for you, watch this space because an online shop should be coming soon.
Above: The Source Bulk Foods in Battersea stocks over 450 bulk goods!
This fabulous initiative sells only goods free from packaging. It has everything your landfill-hating heart could imagine, from the usual dried goods to syrups, honeys, yoghurts and even cream. All refillable! It’s starting life as a pop-up but crowd funding for a permanent location, so keep your fingers crossed.
Above: Planet Organic have launched the Unpackaged concept at 4 of their stores
Four of Planet Organic’s London shops have introduced the Unpackaged concept (Muswell Hill, Westbourne Grove, Islington and Torrington Place) so you’re likely to have one near you. They’ve got an easy system of weighing where you get a barcode showing the weight of your empty container, so you can keep using without endlessly re-weighing.
This is a vegan-focused zero-waste option where the refills and reusables are presented in a bright, welcoming space. We love the design and the fact that they’re always looking to widen their selection; it’s definitely worth a visit.
With As Nature Intended you can’t use distance as an excuse – there are six zero waste shops all over London (Balham, Chiswick, Ealing Green, Marble Arch, Spitalfields and Westfield in Stratford) selling plastic free products including coffee, cereals, pulses, beans and nuts. Use one of their recyclable bags or bring your own container to fill.
While you can see that there are plenty of zero waste shops around, sometimes it’s just easier to buy online. Zero Waste Club is here to help with their weekly deliveries of organic food delivered in paper bags and plastic-free packaging.
Where health food and zero waste meet you’ll find this great shop. While not fully packaging free yet, they have plenty on offer for you to refill to your heart’s content. As well as spices, grains, beans and nuts they also have pasta, toiletries and cleaning product refills.
Alas, only open on Saturdays, this lovely zero waste place sets up at Crystal Palace Food Market to offer people all their unpackaged organic food. There’s a discount if you bring your own container, as well!
This alternative store in Elephant and Castle claims to be an ‘experiment in community’ rather than a shop; either way, it offers you a fair selection of loose food in bins as well as unpackaged washing powder.
These beautiful shops are run by small business owners, passionate about reducing waste. Remember to vote with your wallet – get out there and support them!