Zero Waste Shops in London
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As the zero waste movement continues to gain traction, we’re seeing more and more plastic-free shops pop up across the country. The premise is simple: bring your own reusable container along and fill it with goods, cutting out all the unnecessary plastics involved in the shopping chain. Buying from independent stores is a great way to support small businesses affected by the pandemic too. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best zero waste shops in London, from Tooting to Hackney.
A zero waste store opened recently in Hackney Downs Studios, a community of independent artists and small businesses in East London. There’s no single-use plastic rule on site, and you can buy everything from coffee to herbs and spices to cleaning products. Food is sourced locally, from suppliers like Mission and Ombra pasta, with a number of sustainable lifestyle products also for sale such as Elephant Box food containers and Chilly’s water bottles. restorerefill.co.uk
The Source Bulk Foods
There are two branches of The Source Bulk Foods across the city, one in Battersea and another in Chiswick. Owned by Australians Patrick and Makayla, the shops sell – as the name suggests – bulk foods, everything from pastas to household cleaning products. Their website is also a great source for zero waste tips and tricks. thesourcebulkfoods.co.uk
Another Hackney spot, Bulk Market is all about making things simple. All you need to do is bring your own reusable container, fill it with the goods you want, weigh and pay. Buy everything from grains to dog food to essential oils, alongside lots of organic fresh produce. The store recently introduced new Covid-19 measures, such as limiting the number of people inside at one time and giving customers gloves upon entering. bulkmarket.uk
At South London shop Hetu, they sell vegan, organic, zero waste products, with sustainable or reusable packaging. Gravity bulk bins are made from glass, herbs and spices are found in wooden topped jars with vintage spoons, and a plastic-free machine grinds fresh nut butter. hetu.co.uk
Based inside Tooting Market, BYO encourages customers to fill up their own containers with foods like pasta, seeds, spices and cereals. You’ll also find a good selection of plastic-free accessories here, like KeepCups and tote bags. byo.london
Herne Hill spot Naked Larder takes a slightly different approach, offering a click and collect service where you shop online, then take your containers into the store and fill them up with your order. nakedlarder.co.uk
If you need an extra incentive to go greener, Harmless shop on Tottenham Lane offers beers to visitors while shopping. They used to operate from a teeny tiny store, but recently moved somewhere bigger to offer more space for vegan food, plant-based dry goods and household cleaning supplies – all plastic-free, of course. harmlessstore.co.uk
When launching Zéro, founders Alicia & Josh drew inspiration from the European model of zero waste grocery shopping, which involves a culture of going to specialised shops for individual items. Zéro offers a wide range of ready-to-go bulk items, from cereals to cleaning products. ‘We want people to consider our shop as an alternative to supermarkets where they can source local, organic and FairTrade products without the unnecessary packaging,’ says Alicia. thezeroshop.com