When it comes to grocery shopping, especially in your local supermarket, there is a heck of a lot of packaging involved.
The UK creates tonnes of waste and considering we’re such a small country, it’s pretty crazy when you consider how much:
The average UK household produces more than a tonne of waste every year!
We can all do our bit to reduce this by opting to shop as packaging free as possible. Even starting small can help.
No-Packaging Grocery Stores in the UK
There are plenty of packaging-free grocery stores in the UK, so you’re sure to find something nearby to help you get started on your plastic-reduction journey.
Many dried goods and fresh fruit and veg can be purchased without the need for plastic to get involved – get your jars and Tupperware at the ready and get yourself to the nearest zero-waste grocery shop.
NOTE: Always check with the shop first before assuming you can fill your own containers. Some shops will have purchasable containers which once you have, you can refill when you please.
Aberdeen – Food Story – loose foods, vegetables, bread
Edinburgh – The New Leaf Co-op – loose foods, baking products, oils, vinegar, nut spread
Edinburgh – Real Foods – wholefoods
Edinburgh – Demijohn’s oils, vinegar
Edinburgh – Farmer’s Market – fruit, vegetables
Edinburgh – I J Mellis – wine, eggs, cheese
Glasgow – Society Zero – loose food
Glasgow – Locavore – loose organic grains, pulses, flours, herbs, spices, fruit, vegetables
Glasgow – Vino Valentino – wine
Glasgow – Demijohn’s – whisky, oils, vinegar
Glasgow – Grunting Growler – beer
Inverurie – The Green Grocer – herbs, spices, oils
Perth – Highland Health Store – herbs, spices
Yorkshire & North East
Burley – Waste Not – dried food, liquid refills, spices, other zero waste products
Cleethorpes/Louth – Spill The Beans – cereals, flour, sweets, dried fruits, baking supplies, other foods
Consett – Weigh and Save – unpackaged food items
Gateshead – The Paddock – vegetables, organic milk
Harrogate – Jarfull – baking supplies, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, grains, snacks, treats
Hull – Alan’s Naturally – nuts, rice, lentils, herbs
Leeds – Leeds Repair Cafe – leftover foods
Leeds – The Jar Tree – cereals, grains, flour, bread, seeds, nuts, snacks, sugar, salt, powders
Leeds – Kirkgate Market – a variety of plastic-free shopping
Leeds – The Nutshop – nuts, lentils, oats, spices, chia seeds, grains
Malton – Scoops – spices, flour, rice, pulses, grains
Newcastle – Grainger Market – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, flour, other foods
Newcastle – Far Place Vegan Store – charity shop with some vegan foods
Sheffield – Down to Earth – grains, pulses, cereals, detergent refills.
Sheffield – Student’s Union Zero Waste Shop – nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, spices, legumes, dried fruits
Sheffield – Just Natural – dried fruits, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs
Sheffield – Value Foods – fruits, nuts, grains, cereals
Sheffield – Beeches of Walkley – detergent refills, frozen foods
Skipton – Keelham Farm Shop – loose foods, fruit, vegetables
York – Alligator Wholefoods – loose foods, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
York – Demijohn’s liquid refills
Bolton – A Small Good Thing – fruit, vegetables, loose bulk foods
Cumbria – Fletchers Fruit and Veg fruit, vegetables, sweets, detergent refills
Lancaster – Single Step Whole Foods – loose foods, fruit, vegetables, bread, detergent refills
Liverpool – LIV Organic and Natural Food Market – loose foods, cereal, fruit, vegetables
Manchester – Unicorn Grocery – fruit, vegetables, bread, nuts, grains, pulses, alcohol
Merseyside – Waste Not Want Not – loose dried food, detergent refills
Prestwich – Village Greens Community Co-op – loose foods, fruit, vegetables, bread, baked goods
Birmingham – Clean Kilo
Bromsgrove – Nature’s Intention – dried beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, cereals, fruit, flour, oil, vinegar
Coventry – Coventry Market – fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts
Derby – Soundbites – fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, detergent refills
Hereford – Fodder – spices, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables, bread
Leicester – Zero Waste Leicester – nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, cereal, baking supplies
Ludlow – The Broad Bean – loose foods, deli items, detergent refills
Market Harborough – Refill Revolution – loose foods, fruit, vegetables
Market Harborough – Nature’s Pantry – nuts, grains
Moseley, Birmingham – Indigo Wholefoods – detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
Northampton – ‘Scoop and Save’ at Northampton Market – herbs, seeds, spices
Shrewsbury – Snapdragon Wholefoods – loose goods, detergent refills
Worcester – Pack It In – grains, rice, flours, pasta, oils, vinegar, seeds, nuts, herbs, spices, cereals, dried fruits, baking supplies
Nottingham – Nottingham Zero Waste Collective (pop-up shop) – bulk food, personal care items, zero-waste gifts
Bath – Harvest Natural Foods – grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Bath – New Leaf Health Foods – cereals, chocolate, spices, teas
Bristol – Zero Green – cereals, beans and pulses, pasta, grains and rice, nuts, seeds, spices, herbs, flours, tea and coffee
Bristol – Scoopaway – loose foods, herbs, spices, detergent refills
Bristol – Harvest – loose foods, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
Bristol – Wild Oats Natural Foods – loose foods, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
North Somerset – Scoop and Spice – loose foods, detergent refills, pasta, cereals, rice, spices, nuts, grains, flours
Weston-Super-Mare – Replenish – nuts, seeds, grains, detergent refills
Taunton – Lesser Litter – loose foods
Wells – The Good Earth – detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
Totnes – Earth Food Love – loose foods, detergent refills
Devon – Save a Packet – loose foods
Exeter – The Real Food Store – loose foods, oats, rice, pasta, dried beans, pulses, cereals
Topsham – Nourish – oats, cereals, oils, vinegar, rice, grains
Truro – The Refill Store – cereals, pasta, rice, oats, grains, pulses, beans, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, vinegar, herbs, spices
Causewayhead – The Weigh Inn – loose food bulk bins
Dorset – Down to Earth – bulk wholefoods, detergent refills
Blandford Forum – Cariad Wholefoods – unpackaged wholefoods, herbs, spices, organic vegetables, detergent refills
Bridport – Waste Not Want Not – organic wholefoods, detergent refills
Wiltshire – Green Ginger Health Foods – nuts, seeds, detergent refills
Salisbury – Goodfayre – flours, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, teas
Ashford – Bare Bazaar – herbs, spices, snacks, nuts, baking supplies, rice, pasta, grains, beans, pulses, legumes, cereals
Brighton – Hisbe (How It Should Be) – loose foods, fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Canterbury – Unboxed Kent – beans, legumes, pulses, fruit, vegetables, nuts, pasta, rice, grains, oils, vinegars, spices
Eynsham – The Market Garden – loose foods, fruit, vegetables
Gosport – Paula’s Vegan Bakery – fruit, vegetables, bread
Hassocks – Downsview Delicatessen – loose foods, detergent refills
Henley-on-Thames – The Willow Basket – grains, cereals, nuts, muesli, herbs, spices
Hertfordshire – Bamboo Turtle – beans, grains, dried fruit, baking supplies, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta
Hove – Down to Earth – fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Hythe – U Weigh – loose foods, baking supplies, cereals, flours, dried fruits, dried vegetables, nuts, snacks, seeds, sugar sweets
Lewes – Middle Farm – fruit, vegetables, cider
Margate – The Grain Grocer – baked goods, loose foods
Milton Keynes – My Refill Market – pasta, rice, beans, sugar, flour, spices, dried fruits
Oxford – Oxford Farmer’s Market – loose foods
Oxford – Cardew’s – teas, coffees
Oxford – Demijohn’s – alcoholic drinks, oils, vinegars
Reading – True Food Co-op – loose foods, beans, nuts, dried fruits, rice, grains, detergent refills
St Albans – Refill Pantry which offers things like pasta, rice, lentils, cereals, nuts, chocolates, and snacks.
St Albans – Eat Wholefoods – dried fruit, flours, grains, nuts, seeds, spices, beans, pulses, cereals
Southampton – The Riceup Co-op – loose foods
Wallingford – Just Trading – loose goods, detergent refills
Cambridge – Arjuna Wholefoods – herbs, spices, bread, fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Norwich – The Green Grocers – loose foods, pulses, nuts, seeds, detergent refills
London – Percy Ingle – bread, cakes, pastries
Balham – As Nature Intended – loose foods, fruit, vegetables
Battersea – Hetu
Chiswick – The Source Bulk Foods – loose foods
Chiswick – As Nature Intended – loose foods.
Crystal Palace – The Store Cupboard – loose foods
Ealing – As Nature Intended – loose foods.
Elephant and Castle – FareShares – loose foods, fruit, vegetables
Finsbury Park – Arsenal Food and Wine – unpackaged goods, detergent refills.
Hackney – Get Loose Foods – organic nuts, grains, pulses, milk, eggs, fruits, cheeses
Hackney – Bulk Market – loose foods
Harringay – Kofali Hot Nuts – nuts, dried fruit, sweets
Herne Hill – Naked Larder – dry goods detergent refills
Kensington – Whole Foods – grains, cereals, nuts, teas, coffee, fruit, vegetables
Kentish Town – Earth Natural Stores – grains, herbs, spices, nuts, teas, coffees, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
Kentish Town – Bumblebee Natural Foods – nuts, seeds.
London Fields – E5 Bakehouse – oats, dried beans, nuts, seeds, sugar
Marble Arch – As Nature Intended – loose foods, coffee, fruit, vegetables
Muswell Hill – Unpackaged – loose foods, chocolate, detergent refills
Richmond – Whole Foods – bulk wholesale
Shoreditch – As Nature Intended – loose foods, rice, snacks, nuts, coffee, fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Stoke Newington – Mother Earth – loose foods
Stoke Newington – Food For All – loose dried goods
Walthamstow – The Veg Hut – loose foods, detergent refills, fruit, vegetables
Caerphilly – Plant 2 Plate Catering – loose spices
Conwy – Health and Food – herbs, spices, detergent refills, yoghurt vegetables, cereals, nuts, dried fruit
Llandrindod Wells – La vida verde – vinegars, spices, milk, eggs
North Wales – Ruthin Wholefoods – snacks, fruit, vegetables, detergent refills
Pembrokeshire – Happy Planet Green Store – dried goods, detergent refills
Powys – Natural Weigh – loose foods
Tips for Shopping Packaging Free
Here are 5 ways to go packaging free in your grocery shopping.
- Use reusable bags: Take your own bags to the shops where possible – this could be ‘bag for life’ carriers, canvas totes or hessian bags (different fabric types and strengths are suited to different products).
Canvas or jute bags are great for buying loose fruit and veg – you could even use them as you walk around the shop (perfect for trying out scan as you go checkout) and avoid using those little polyethene bags.
See some recommended reusable produce bags here.
- Buy loose food: Instead of buying your dry food in plastic packaging, opt for deli-style shops which sell dry food loose by the weight (read on to discover more packaging-free grocery stores).
- Choose food in recyclable packaging: If possible, choose food which has recyclable packaging over non-recyclable.
This could be as simple as buying your ketchup in a glass bottle or getting your tea bags in cardboard only boxes (no plastic bags).
Often you will find that you aren’t spending any more money than you normally would and sometimes you’ll even save!
- Shop in no-packaging grocery stores: Do the majority of your shopping at no-packaging grocery stores – check out our list below of some of the places you’ll be able to shop to your heart’s content and start saving our seas.
- Grow your own food: Some people have started to grow some of their own foods in an allotment or just a little veg patch in their garden – this is the perfect way to reduce packaging and it gets you outdoors, so it’s a win win!
Why Should You Try to Go Zero Waste?
Of course, the main reason for going zero waste where you can is to help reduce your plastic waste and reduce the impact that you are having on the environment. Less packaging on our foods is definitely the way forward, so start thinking about this when you go shopping.
Less packaging also reduces the price of your goods! With additional costs coming in the form of the price you pay in the supermarket, as well as in the form of taxes to fund recycling of goods, why wouldn’t you go for packaging free products and start saving money on your weekly shopping bill today!?
Another reason (which is less important) is the fact that you won’t have to empty the bin so often! But you might have to leave the recycling out more frequently or take a few more trips to your local recycling plant.