Plastic free shopping guide

Zero waste shopping isn’t just for bulk-buying and doing ‘your bit’. Aside from the growing problem with single use plastic and packaging, did you know a fifth of your shopping bill goes on packaging?

The UK has an ever growing number of independent zero waste shops – is there one near you?

  • Viva Organic, Cardiff Viva Organic is a zero waste shop in Cardiff that does a great line in plastic free cutlery, hard bar shampoos and essentials for your zero waste kit alongside the fruit, veg and dried goods.
  • New Leaf Co-op, Edinburgh New Leaf Co-op  sells loose dry goods that you weigh out into your own containers and plenty of gluten free, vegan and dairy free options, including some amazing plant mylks. The store acts as real community hub, with the staff getting involved in other waste less, recycling and upcycling programmes.
  • Unpackaged at Planet Organic, LondonThe UK’s largest fully certified organic supermarket, Planet Organic are getting in on the zero waste act. Four of its stores now offer the Unpackaged zero waste way of buying veg grains, dry goods and so on with your own containers. Find them in Muswell Hill, Westbourne Grove, Islington and Torrington Place.
  • The Clean Kilo, BirminghamBirmingham’s first zero waste has made a huge impact on plastic free people. The Clean Kilo is based in The Custard Factory in Digbeth and zero waste shoppers can look forward to plastic-free food, drink, toiletries and cleaning products. Take your own containers or pick up recycled ones in the store.
  • Earth.Food.Love, Totnes, DevonEarth.Food.Love sells everything from dried goods to shampoos, you can grind your own peanut butter, pick up vegan chocolates and chat to Richard about all things permaculture. It’s a real community hub for the latest wave of city-escapers to Devon.
  • Waste Not Want Not, Bridport, DorsetWaste Not Want Not is Dorset’s first zero waste shop. Go for plastic free shopping and buy organic, unpackaged, plant based whole foods as well as detergent and personal care refills and an expanding range of zero waste home and lifestyle products. Don’t have your own plastic containers? Pick up paper bags and organic cotton bags as well as glass jars. It is also planning a home delivery service WAHOO that sounds great!
  • Zero Green, BristolBristolians are spoilt for choice when it comes to zero waste shopping. Zero Green in Bristol champions buying in bulk, buying plastic free ingredients and buying local. Pop in and weigh out dry ingredients, washing up liquid, shampoos and lots of other items. Many of their suppliers are local to Bristol and you can also pick up plastic free deodorants, water bottles, KeepCups, bamboo cutlery and stainless steel straws.
  • Incredible Bulk, CornwallZero waste stores don’t have to be in fixed locations. Cornwall’s Incredible Bulk is a mobile zero waste shop that sells bulk dried foods, refillable home cleaning products and a mixture of lifestyle products that promote living life with less waste. It travels on a monthly schedule to serve the smaller, more rural communities of Cornwall.
  • Wild Thyme Wholefoods, PortsmouthPortsmouth’s Wild Thyme Wholefoods is a worker-owned co-op with a large zero waste section, organic fruit and veg selection and a wide range of liquid cleaning and toiletries as refills. Plus all the packaging is plant based, there’s a juice bar and a takeaway counter.
  • Charlotte’s Cupboard, SussexCharlotte’s Cupboard is the first plastic free shop on wheels. Acting like an old fashioned mobile store, the cute van offers dry goods, chocolate, tea, coffee, household essentials and lots more – most of them are organic with plans for that to be 100% very soon. Order zero waste deliveries to your door (in Sussex) or find the van at market days in Sussex including Haywards Heath, Brighton and Lewes.

Do you own a zero waste or plastic free shop? We’d love to hear from you and list you on our website. Drop us a line, we’re always on the hunt for likeminded folk.

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