Plastic free, Zero living, Zero waste shop, Reduced Plastic, Compostable, Eco friendly, recycling, Sustainable shopping
Zero Living ?
Zero living is hitting the headlines. Consumers are starting to become aware of the amount of the amount of waste and packaging produced simply by shopping. And more and more of our customers are interested in reducing the amount of plastic packaging they can take home as part of their weekly food shop. Over the last couple of years we have been looking into all the ideas which come under the zero waste umbrella. We’ve been involved a little with some of the local plastic free groups. And the Zero waste mantra of “Refuse, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Rot” is one which we have been learning about and putting into practice right across the store.
We’ve now lots of “plastic free” products and Zero Waste approaches to offer you in our shop. And we’ve not only been working to support our customers who are starting to take up Zero living. As business we’re committed to working towards a Zero waste approach ourselves.
We’re still learning and working with our suppliers, but we’ve lots to offer customers interested in making some positive and more sustainable changes to their weekly shop. And If you are interested in Zero living , and have an interest in organic, tasty, healthy and local food, then we hope you will consider paying us a visit.
If you do make a trip to our store, look out for our reduced plastic options. We have plastic free deodorants, toothbrushes, and soaps. We sell organic commodities such as rice, pasta, nuts and seeds loose in-store . You will also find refills for a full range of household cleaning products such as washing up liquid and laundry liquid. And we have refills for body care products such as shampoo, body wash and conditioner as well. Most of our organic veg is sourced and sold loose. We have introduced paper packaging with our local organic meats. And you can buy our local Artisan bread fresh in brown paper on the day it is baked.
And we are also offering our customers plenty of Zero-waste tricks in-store. If you buy any of our reduced fruit and veg, we can remove any plastic packaging at the counter for our re-use. If you prefer to buy your rices, and pulses prepackaged, you’ll find they come in reduced thickness single polymer bags. Increasingly our smaller suppliers are introducing paper packaging and compostable bags.
How free is Plastic free ?
Many things in the food trade come into contact with plastic as part of the food chain. Critics bemoan that “plastic free” retail just means removing packing behind the scenes to increase profit. And that it’s impractical for customers.
But we aim to make sure our “plastic free” options are affordable, practical. and reduce overall plastic use. Food hygiene is important as well. And our reduced plastic options are part of a zero waste approach aimed to reduce overall food waste, and environmental costs.
Loose commodities and refills
Take our household refills for example. We’ve been offering refills for over 20 years. All our refills are at least 10 percent cheaper than our equivalent shop price. Our ecoleaf washing up liquid refills are priced at £2 a litre. And our ecoleaf containers are returned each week to their manufacturer Suma for re-use and recycling. We refill your bottles for you at the counter, it can be a messy business, but it’s one we are used to.
We can also sell you loose organic commodities at the counter. The service is still growing, and at present our loose commodities offer at least a 5 percent saving on the equivalent pre-packaged price. There is still some plastic removed behind the scenes at present but like all our waste plastic in-store it gets recycled. You also don’t need to bring your own containers from your kitchen. We’re happy to fill any bags you are reusing. If you don’t have a bag we will simply our sell commodities loose in our brown paper bags.
Good recycling comes at a cost. But we’ve worked with the same recycling contractor for well over a decade. They have a failure rate of as low as 4 percent in all the recycling material they handle. And what’s unsuitable is incinerated as a fuel in the UK . So it doesn’t reach landfill or a marine environment. It’s not Zero but it’s getting close.
Zero living at home?
And the Zero living approach we are discovering, isn’t just to do with plastic use and shopping. It’s one you can take it up at home along as you start to think a bit more about reducing your general waste. And in-store we have a full range of eco-friendly homecare products designed to help you keep you home in step with a more sustainable lifestyle.
We built some new shelves recently just for them. And we have such little things as compostable bin liners and food bag., And we have some microplastic free cloths, recycled scrubbers and brushes you can buy. In fact we even have recycled clothes pegs for hanging out your washing. Finding markets for recycled plastic products we have been learning is an important part of developing a zero waste strategy at large.
Zero Waste ?
Because thinking about sustainability is new to many of us. And to us it’s about being positive, not perfect. And like our main cooperative suppliers such as Suma wholefoods, we’re embracing the challenges of Zero Waste. From reusing and recycling our own cardboard and plastic, to composting our own food waste, even businesses can do a bit more. We’re trying to be as responsible in the shop as many of customers are at home.
And a lot of the ideas around Zero Waste can just be common sense. We have almost all of our fruit and veg picked to order. So we’ve established a zero-waste supply chain behind the fruit and veg you buy in the shop. When you pick up some broccoli on our display, you can have confidence nothing is being wasted at the farm or left unsold in warehouses around the country. And we’ve always wanted to help make organic food more affordable . So now you can buy some of our end lines at close to wholesale cost each week and help us minimise our food waste. And you can also help us use up our spare delivery boxes by taking your shopping home in them.
To us, coming to terms with Zero Waste can be a positive thing. It can be part of learning more about the consequences of our actions on the environment. And taking responsibility for waste doesn’t have to be complicated or require dramatic expense. Zero waste we have discovered is not an ultimatum to life without plastic. From what we have been learning, It’s more about making sure we have a plan for everything we produce.
We know big changes to support Zero-waste are still needed on the global stage And we know our waste problems are too big to be solved by just recycling, or buying plastic free groceries alone. And to us and our suppliers it’s as much about learning to work together, and being involved in the big picture, as it is in the small. Learning to use resources well, and taking responsibility for them together seems to be the way forward.
Our Approach ?
We like everyone else, can’t do everything. And at this stage it seems is very much about making positive choices individually and working collectively to bring the pieces of the Zero waste jigsaw together. Because the journey to a zero waste community is certainly one which we, along with many of our customers want to be part of. And the five R’s of Zero waste are an approach which we keep working to support in-store.
Because Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot it seems, is now the way to go.