One of the most effective things you can do for the environment is to reduce your waste, which you can do by making different choices when purchasing food and products, opting for cardboard packaging instead of plastic wherever possible, taking benefit of Refill Schemes or reusing your own containers.
It can be overwhelming when you first start thinking about reducing your waste. The good news is you are thinking about it and taking the time to find out how you can go about it. Going packaging free is a lifestyle change and will involve making some changes to how you shop, but we know from experience that once you make those different choices, you won’t look back. Knowing you are living a more sustainable lifestyle, helping the environment and not filling that recycling bin every week is a wonderful feeling. Also food looks so much more appealing when on display rather than hidden in plastic packaging!
All you need are some form of reusable containers. These could be jars, existing plastic tubs from takeaways, Tupperware, anything really that can be cleaned and reused.
What produce can you buy as a refill?
- Beans, grains and pulses
- Pasta and rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruits
- Baking goods such as yeast, sugar, flour, baking powder
- Herbs and spices
- Cleaning products
There are many other products that we can replace with sustainable reusable options such as:
- Kitchen cloths instead of kitchen paper.
- If you need them, menstrual cups to avoid the waste of single-use cotton products and plastic packaging.
- Ditch disposable cutlery and use normal cutlery or reusable lightweight cutlery
- Be sure to reuse the plastic bags you already have or use a fabric shopping bag
- Reusable toothbrush such as bamboo.
- Reusable cotton or bamboo makeup remover wipes or clothes to avoid the single use wipes and sponges and cotton wool.
Where to get your refills?
There are an increasing number of zero waste / refill stores opening across the Country as well as some Supermarkets trialling refill options in certain stores. Tesco have recently announced their partnership with ‘Loop’, a platform by the recycling company TerraCycle. You can order certain products online, get them delivered to your door, then simply put the used empty packaging into the reusable tote and request a free pick-up and refill.
If you live local to Shipley, Derbyshire these are just some of the options you have locally:
- Refills on the Road is Derbyshire’s first zero waste mobile shop
- ShopZero in Nottingham
- The Good Weigh in Nottingham
- Out of This World in Beeston
- Sue’s Sustainables in Belper
- Nil at the Mill soon to be opening in Ilkeston
- Sound Bites in Derby
Tips on going zero waste
- Use reusable bags when you shop. Keep some in your car and perhaps a cotton tote bag in your handbag.
- Ditch single-use water bottles. Purchase a reusable bottle and download the Refill App and you can find a free Refill station near you.
- Get a reusable coffee cup. Many coffee shops now offer discount schemes for customers using a reusable cup. During Coronavirus reusable cups are not being used.
- Choose unwrapped fruit and vegetables. Take your own containers to those supermarkets operating refill stations. Try your local market for your fruit and vegetables and at the same time support local.
- Refill and reuse existing plastic containers.
If you have enjoyed reading this, take a look at our other pages with steps you can take to reduce your waste.