Managing Waste - our packaging and practices

Really, the term ‘zero waste’ is a misnomer. We all leave a footprint just by existing, breathing and going about our daily lives. Our aim is to walk more lightly upon our beautiful planet, and to reduce the detrimental effect our actions have on our environment, other species, ourselves and our future resources.

We believe that many people making small beneficial changes has a huge effect. What we do daily and locally really matters and has the capacity to ripple out into the wider world.

As well as providing products in our shop which are not packaged in single use plastic we also undertake to operate in ways which are as environmentally friendly as possible. This means paying attention to things like having a green energy electricity provider (our contract with Octopus states that all the power with which they provide us is sourced from renewables) turning off lights, heating and equipment when not in use, using non harmful floor and surface cleaners and sourcing recyclable or compostable gloves and bin bags.

In just the same way as customers can plan their weekly menu and buy only what they need, we do our best to buy and manage our stock so that it is stored correctly and sells before it goes out of date and becomes wasted.

Where we can we source goods locally to reduce transport miles, and reuse recycle any packaging which goods arrive in. We prefer to buy from companies who operate a closed loop return and reuse policy for their packaging and containers.

Many of the bulk dry foods which we sell ‘loose’ will arrive in paper / hessian sacks. Sometimes manufacturers or wholesalers send in a plastic sack where contamination or deterioration may otherwise happen. We would rather receive one 20 kilo plastic sack which we can recycle, and provide eco friendly packaging for the contents than see goods packed in 40 single use plastic 500g packets.

Not all plastic is bad or avoidable and we promise not to ‘greenwash’ and to be honest when we have to make compromises.

If customers bring their own containers, as long as we can weigh them we can usually fill them with products. We also keep a selection of clean pre-used jars and containers if customers have not brought our own, We are happy to accept donations of suitable clean empty jars, tubs etc but we cannot take any which have previously contained any kind of nut products or strongly scented items such as pickles.

We also keep new paper bags for carrying home products, but we have found that rather a lot of people have an expectation of using these rather than remembering to bring their own bag or containers. Due to a combination of increasing costs and the principle that our paper bags are new manufacture and therefore do not reduce the carbon footprint as much as recycling what we already have, we regrettably will now be charging 2 pence per paper bag used.