Its plastic-free July and we're starting the month by thinking about ways that we can reduce or remove entirely our reliance on single use plastics. Packaging free supermarkets are a great way of doing this. They offer products in bulk to be taken away in your own reusable containers not only avoiding unnecessary packaging but also potentially saving you money in the process as you only buy what you need. As a bonus, the grains, nuts, flours and fruits offered are often organic as well. These shops have been popping up all over the place with drive through option, Le Drive Tout Nu, in Toulouse one the most innovative we have heard of.
Empty jam jars in hand, I decided to make my first visit to my local low waste supermarket this weekend and immediately felt under prepared. A bag full of jars can be difficult to carry and freezing glass is a potential nightmare. The ethos of these shops certainly encourages the reuse of containers left over from other products but having a kit prepared to make packaging free shopping easier will make the task seem less impossible. Buying too many gimmicky green-washed products is a waste of money, however we think there are a few essentials that might make for a much smoother shopping experience.
Here are 8 items I wish I had on my first trip to a Zero Waste supermarket.
This Alienina bag is guaranteed to be strong enough to carry all your goodies as each bag is made with 80% production waste from things like sailing ropes and household blinds.
Alienina, Sara Bag, £168.45 Shop Now
Each one of these produce bags is made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton ensuring not only that no pesticides or fertilisers were used in production but that workers were not exploited too.
Turtle Bags, Organic Cotton Produce Bag, £2.00 Shop Now
Keeping bread from getting squashed in your bag with your weekly shop can be hard so this reusable bread bag made from recycled bottles has a roll top closure that doubles as a handle.
Onya, Reusable Bread Bag, £13.95 Shop Now
Getting milk delivered in glass bottles reduces plastic waste but foil tops often fall off. These reusable silicon tops are great for keeping all sorts of glass bottles sealed, even if you don't drink dairy.
Moopops, Reusable Bottle Tops, £4.99 Shop Now
Clean Natured Amber Glass Bottles with Pump, £8.00 Shop Now
Brown glass helps to keep out UV that can damage natural cleaning products so these bottles are perfect for refilling at your local packaging free supermarket plus they'll look great on your counter top.
Clean Natured, Amber Glass Cleaning Set, £29.99 Shop Now
Some foods need to be wrapped to keep from drying out and beeswax wraps are a great alternative to plastic film or foil that will help your food last longer once you get it home.
Beeswax Wraps, Family Pack, £60 Shop Now
Another option for airtight storage is a stainless steel tin. Durable and beautiful these containers by Elephant Box are made in factories in India and China where workers are treated ethically.
Elephant Box, Be Square! Set of two square containers, £27.00 Shop Now
I often need a coffee after all the rushing about of a food shop and KeepCup has been my go to reusable cup for over a year now. You can even buy replacements parts to keep your cup going longer!
KeepCup, Brew in Cino, from £15.00 Shop Now