Zero Waste in the UK

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Gemma Gemma
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Zero Waste in the UK

Hey

So I'm starting to try and embrace a zero waste lifestyle in the UK but I'm struggling to find places I can buy food with low or no packaging ?

We don't have such marvelous things as a bulk buy store, and things like grocers and bakers are few and far between.

How are other people overcoming this ?
Stephanie Stephanie
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

I'm struggling too. I've decided to cut out what I can to start with and take it from there. I bought some handkerchiefs to stop me buying disposable tissues, sent a load of stuff to the car boot sale/charity shop (less to clean) and when I buy things I look at the packaging. For example I buy loose veg in the supermarket instead of bagged (usually cheaper and I can buy how much we eat rather than wasting any), choose dry pasta in cardboard not plastic etc. It's not always possible to get what you hoped for (especially if you're in an area with poor choice like me) but I think that starting small and doing what you can while you find alternatives is good enough for me, especially if I can recycle a lot of the waste. Not perfect I know. I'm still pondering online shopping, which would give me more choice but then you have to factor in not choosing your own (fine for tins/dry goods but not sure for fresh) and the delivery costs.
Hope this helps!

Stephanie
Gemma Gemma
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

I guess that's all you can really do.

I'm getting better, and I do recycle a lot - but i'd rather not be buying it in the first place.

As to online shopping, I do it myself because I don't have a car and live a long way from my local supermarket.

Its good, and the produce is always of good quality, but I'm waging a one woman war against Tesco on Twitter right now that when I say I don't want and plastic bags, that doesn't mean I want it mostly without and then just a couple - or that I want all my loose veg wrapped in pointless little plastic bags.

Their getting better - my last 'bagless' delivery only had one bag, but my veg still came in those little clear plastic bags - so progress, just not quite there yet.
Scott Scott
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

In reply to this post by Gemma
Hi - One idea is to try Bea's Bulk App (if you have a smartphone). Using the Bulk App, I can see that there are at least 20 locations in London that sell Bulk products - everything from food to spices to soaps.

cheers - Scott
Stephanie Stephanie
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

Thanks but I don't have a smartphone and don't live in London! Anyway, progress has dropped in some respects but going vegan has helped in others :)
Luckily we have a good municipal recycling programme here that takes most things from your doorstep so I'm hoping that's a good trade off.
Have you tried https://www.bigbarn.co.uk/ ?
Catherine Sultana Catherine Sultana
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

In reply to this post by Gemma
Gemma, Here in US there is azurestandard.com which you arrange a bulk purchase delivered to you. Perhaps you can find similar service and make a buying club sort of group and go in together on bulk purchases? There would be packaging involved but spread out over a group (like you are your own health food store).
Since you already have boot sales, that seems like a likely audience/location to try to get a group together. Would take coordination, but you might find like minded folks who appreciate the new option.
Katie Katie
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Re: Zero Waste in the UK

I've just started my zero waste experiment and know immediately that I'm not going to achieve zero waste in this country , the country is not set up for it at all and in fact a trip into the supermarket yesterday horrified me in terms of how bad the packaging situation is over here. Anyway I did have some success and did a zsap as you go shop, weighing my loose produce and putting what I could get unwrapped straight into my bag and putting the weighing stickers onto my reusable bag in case I got checked. We bought cakes off the deli counter in cardboard and rejected grapes etc because my local authority doesn't recycle plastic boxes. I'm going to have to take my orange juice tetra packs and foil to the next local authority for recycling as ours incinerates everything for energy. This is great in some ways but actually makes it feel ok to throw plastic wrap in the bin which it's not!  It doesn't solve the central issue of the excess of plastic used in our country. Off to lush next week to buy a bar of shampoo and try it out. I'm also looking into the Ecover refill service which they provide down the road. We,'lol see!!!