Draft: Zero waste grocery shopping

With some planning and a pile of reusable bags, zero waste shopping is much easier than you think. Buying food this way and supporting conscious consuming, we can start to change they way everyone buys and eats their food. Some of the other benefits include:
  • Supporting independant small businesses
  • Supporting local suppliers
  • Cutting down on plastic and general packaging
  • Combat food waste by buying exactly how much you need
  • Community hub for like-minded-soon-to-be-friends
Now, I'm not 100% zero waste, there are some things I cannot buy without plastic such as tofu and the occasional vegan cheese, however I have made a conscious effort to reduce packaging, especially plastic and always try to avoid single use plastic. Just remember every change you make, no matter how small, still makes a difference.
Here are my top tips and where to buy.
Fresh fruit and veg
Delivery boxes - My favourite is Riverfords Organics. They have really researched all of their packaging and their manifesto is actually quite interesting (click on the image below), particularly the carbon footprint of paper vs plastic. Spoiler, paper bags result in several times the emissions of the equivalent plastic bag! They have reduced their packaging to the bare minimum and everything is recyclable or compostable.
There also seems to be an increase in local, community grown fruit and veg schemes so check out if there is something near you.
Local Green Grocers - I'm lucky to have a great option near(ish) my house. The Manor Farm Shop in Chelmsford, Essex. You'll be surprised what is available near you if you research and they all tend to have a much bigger selection than just fruit and veg such as cupboard staples, condiments, tins, and drinks. Some of my favourite finds have been:
  • Plastic free cucumber
  • Scoop you own frozen fruit and veg
  • Tiptree sauces and jams in glass bottles and jars. Their ketchup is amazing and locally made in Essex.
When shopping zero waste, you need the right tools. Remember to take with you plenty of bags. My absolute favourite are these Turtle Bags that are made from organic cotton and hold up to 40kg - they are so strong. You can buy these bags in a variety of colours from my store in both long and short handle versions. I also have a great selection of smaller organic cotton and mesh bags, however if you have a scraps of material or unwanted clothes, you can make your own bags if you're nifty with a sewing machine.
Online Shopping
These online stores are great to stock up all of your dried goods in plastic free packaging.
https://plasticfreepantry.co.uk - You can get 10% off if you pick up 10 pieces of litter and tag them ‡pfp10for10.
https://www.zero-waste-club.com - Everything is organic too
https://www.greenbaysupermarket.co.uk - Online vegan supermarket - A lot is in plastic packaging but there are some good finds such as Kinda Co Vegan Cheese in glass jars or paper.
Zero Waste Stores
I've started to compile a list of all of the zero waste stores around the UK. Let me know if I've missed any out. I know a lot are opening soon so I'll update as soon as they open!
  • Aberdeen - Food Story
  • Birmingham - The Clean Kilo
  • Brighton - Waste Not
  • Bristol - Scoopaway
  • Bristol - Preserve Foods
  • Bristol - Waste Not Want Not
  • Bristol - Zero Green
  • Cornwall - Gillian's Larder
  • Dorset - Waste Not Want Not
  • Edinburgh - New Leaf Co-op
  • Exeter - Nourish of Topsham
  • Glasgow - Locavore
  • Gloucestershire - Loose
  • Harrogate - Jarfull
  • Leeds - Waste Not
  • London - Hetu UK - Vegan and zero waste
  • London - Harmless
  • London - Unpackaged in Planet Organic, Islington
  • London - Wholefoods Kensington
  • London - The Source Bulk FoodsNottingham - The Nottingham Zero Waste Collective
  • Sheffield - Unwrapped
  • Sussex - Charlotte's Cupboard on electric wheels (market days and deliveries)
  • Totnes, Devon - Earth Food Love
  • Powys, Wales - Natural Weigh


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