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Zero Waste Stores – Shopping in bulk to avoid packaging

Zero waste shopping

“The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lombard” 
Author: lyzadanger  Diliff –

What are Zero Waste Stores?

During the week Jon had an inquiry from one of his student’s about whether he knew of any zero waste stores in London? Although he had no idea so decided to do a bit of research and see what this kind of store is like. So at the weekend, Jon went to visit his family in the Midlands ended up going to his brother’s local zero waste store in Bournville, Birmingham.

Bournville Zero Waste Shop

It was great, offering items from cereal to herbs and spices, through to olive oil and cleaning liquids. There were fruit and veg (a lot of it organically grown in the city), crusty and tasty looking bread, loose leaf tea and chocolate. Basically a mini supermarket but completely plastic-free shopping with food sourced as locally as possible. The idea is that you bring your own containers although they have some containers there that you can buy too. You weigh your container, fill it, scan & reweigh it and then pay, simple!

Zero Waste Stores in London

Now for the task of finding a few zero waste stores in the London area. The first one Jon came across was Hetu , not far from Clapham Junction on St.John’s Hill. What caught his eye was that you can refill your wine bottle with a range of wines. They have a good selection of pasta and it is all vegan.

Next, a bit closer to home on Portobello Road was Liberté Chérie. Jon was impressed by the owners food knowledge as well as the fact that there is a good range of locally sourced products. Also a range of English wine (can you see a theme here!)

On to north London and Crouch End, Harmless. This is a lovely little store for plastic-free bulk shopping and vegan food. Fruit and vegetables available seasonally. Luxury bath products and a nice range of items to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Ludo likes shopping in Zero Waste stores

“Jon how come you haven’t heard about Zero Waste stores? I’m sure I mentioned them to you before!”, said Ludo to Jon when he told her about this article.

Ludo has already shopped from time to time at The Source Bulk Shop, also located in Clapham Junction. There is a good range of products (no wines there!) and affordable prices. It’s a good idea as well to look at the origin of products: usually “closer is better” due to the carbon footprint of transport. There are also a couple of shops as well in Herne Hill, close to Brixton where Ludo lives.

Here are just a few places dotted around the city, but you can find more at this website: