Plastic is… interesting. It can be moulded into almost any shape, it’s cheap to produce and, alarmingly, durable. It lasts for a very, very long time and current estimates suggest 8 million pieces of plastic are entering the oceans every single day. Not only does that cause devastating environmental damage, it’s also entering the human food chain.
While public and major supermarkets have been quite slow in reacting to the mountain of plastic waste society creates every day, there are many local stores making it easier to reduce the impact of your grocery shopping.
We all should be reducing the amount of plastic travelling through our lives, beyond using that bag-for-life and a decent water bottle.
There’s a new breed of wholefood and zero-waste stores springing up, all eager to help you lessen your impact. These offer refill services which extend beyond just food to cleaning supplies and bathroom products. You’d be surprised at how much junk your beauty regime can generate, much of which heads to landfill.
One beneficial side-effect of chasing a zero-plastic existence is how it often supports local businesses. Neighbourhood markets, greengrocers, delicatessens and bakeries usually provide the best environmentally-friendly options.
Local businesses offering plastic-free shopping…
A delivery business specialising in plastic-free shopping, Roots and Hoots bring the zero-waste philosophy to your doorstep. Everything is packed in durable and reusable plastic-free containers in an emission-free electric van. After you’ve finished the products, just arrange a pick-up for the empties. They offer a magnificent selection of food, household, and health and beauty.
Based in London Road’s fantastic Open Market, WasteNot has completely zero waste packaging options for dry and wet goods, alongside other useful items to help you go plastic-free.
Located near Brighton Station on Surrey Street, Grocer and Grain is a brilliant option for commuters. This community corner store sells locally-grown and produced food, homemade cakes, superb deli treats and essentials.
Another independent and exceptional local store, Dubleaus brings plastic-free shopping to the heart of the community. This popular Whitehawk Road greengrocer has almost everything you’re going to need. They also sell online at www.dubleaus.com
A long-established Brighton icon, based on North Road, this wholefoods shop and wholesaler offers a huge array of vegetarian and organic foods. There’s also a huge range of environmentally-friendly toiletries and household products. And of course a great refilling service.
Taking buying local to the next level, this Blatchington Road gem offers a huge amount of plastic-free homeware products and plant-based foods. They love to support small and local suppliers, stocking essentials at amazing prices. You can also take in your bags, boxes, pots, packets, bottles and jars to make the most of this refill haven.
An eco-friendly supermarket in Seven Dials, Dyke Road’s Kindly excels at selling unpackaged baked goods, and organic fruit & veg, at accessible prices. Among their thousands of items are refills for cleaning products, handwash, shampoo, washing up liquid, health supplements, beauty products, toiletries and make-up.
A much-loved local favourite, Store Brighton on Ditchling Road has a great range of dried food, household essentials, toiletries and body care items – but doesn’t do any plastic packaging.
Offering sustainability in central Hove, the Western Road store offers plenty of unpackaged organic fruit and veg, as well as a range of refills and locally-produced products.
The most well-known ‘ethical supermarket’ in Brighton & Hove, this York Place destination has been reducing plastic packaging and tackling food waste for the best part of a decade. The store also returns 67p of every £1 taken back to suppliers, ensuring the entire system is sustainable for all. It stocks a massive range of ‘nude food’ and a refill for everything from nuts and cereals to oil and detergents.
Single-use plastic cups are a huge contributor to pollution. BYO collaborate with cafes around the UK, offering a discount or incentive to anyone taking in a reusable cup.
A charity that’s yearning to create a green and thriving planet, they run the brilliant Long Live the Lunchbox initiative, encouraging food outlets and takeaway businesses to display a pink ‘We Accept Your Container Here’ sticker.
This organisation is fighting to end the senselessness of single-use plastics. Through campaigning, education and political lobbying, they are working with a range of organisations and businesses to help create institutional change.
An ingenious and handy app which lets you fill up your reusable water bottle for free on the go. Alternatively, if your phone isn’t always in your hand, there are Refill stickers in windows of participating businesses.