is for refill Stores in

What are refill stores?

Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy food loose.You take as much as you want/need from a larger container and you can usually use your own packaging.

Of course lots of shops, even supermarkets sell some loose foods. Vegetables and meat can be easily found.

However unlike America or Australia for example we don’t have many “bulk” stores or aisles (their name for loose food), where you can buy other kinds of food loose. I mean the stuff that that normally comes pre-plastic-packaged like rice, lentils & pasta.

Which is of course greatly disappointing to the U.K. based plastic free shopper and leads many to despair…. but wait….while they are rare, we do have a few!

I have put together a list of stores that sell loose products listed alphabetically by place name.

If you know of others please add them, with as many details as possible, in the comments box below and I will incorperperate them.


While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own plastic-free /reusable bags, tubs and bottles.


The weight of the container may make a difference at checkout. Some shops  subtract the tare weight but other don’t. The tare weight is the weight of the empty container.


The new leaf co-op that offers a wide variety of stuff package free. Bulk stuff includes washing up liquid ontap, laundry liquid on tap, hair care, loads of spices, flour, müsli, beans & pulss, grains, rice, dred fruit, nuts, seeds, vinega, oil, soy sauce and much more. It’s an incredible place!

They also have a very nice website where you can read all about them and their products. Here is a snippet

“The New Leaf Co-op is collectively owned and managed by the people who work here, and we have chosen to put our principles right at the heart of our business.Our aim is 1simple: To offer affordable, healthy vegetarian wholefoods, with a focus on organic, locally sourced and fairtrade products, with as little packaging as possible. We carry more than 150 different lines of food and household products for customers to scoop and refill themselves, and our range is ever growing!”


To be truly plastic free, you may have to set up a still in the back garden!  Unless you can get to one of these liquid delis.

Demijohn offer a spirits, liquor and other drinks refill service in


32 Victoria Street

0131 225 4090


Check out Scottish blogger Westywrites for Scottish based plastic freeness 


in Hampshire  – Pantry Weigh. Thanks to Emma for this info “There’s a small shop called Pantry Weigh in Emsworth in Hampshire

Find A Milk Delivery Service With Glass Bottles


Other Refill Stores



Help Me

Please add any shops you know of in the comments below and I will incorporate them into the post.
Links to reviews particularly welcome.
Dont have a blog? Love guest posts…

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12 thoughts on “E

  1. Rosevear Tea, 100 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ES not only do loose teas, but give you 50p off for refilling your jar/one of their own pouches.

    Deli 181, 181 Bruntsfield Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DG sell items such as loose dried mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and are happy to fill your own containers.

    Good Foods, 255 Morninside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4RD has loose nuts, oats, some snack foods, Ecover refills, unpackaged soap, minimally packaged cloths, chocolate in compostable wrappers.

  2. There’s also the Real Foods shops. One in Tollcross and at least one other on the north side. We used to get our cereal from their bulk bins, using our own container. I mostly go to The New Leaf Coop now because it’s closer.

  3. I do compost PLA plastic in my back yard compost bin and have done so for years.

    Recycling rates for used oil based plastic food containers are extremely low because it is not cost effective to collect them. Even if they are collected, and many councils do so under pressure from constituents, many recycling companies will not accept them because they are often not properly cleaned. One dirty pot can damage the whole batch of recycled plastic. Moreover workers don’t want to work with dirty food containers.

    Plastic that has been used for food cannot be recycled into more food pots, so you still have to use virgin plastic from oil a non-renewable resource to make the millions of food containers we use.

    All products have an environmental cost and no one would ever claim that PLA plastic can be without an impact. However PLA can be made from non edible waste parts of plant products. It can be made from organically grown plants. It is a renewable resource. You would have to compare that to using a non renewable resource, oil, the drilling, transportation, oil spills and all the other associated costs.

    In terms of production bio plastics, plastics made from biological resources, are generally considered a cleaner plastic – though of course it does have an environmental impact. This claim is disputed by the petroleum lobby but even the most sceptical reports find it hard to prove the bio plastic plastic is dirtier to produce than oil based plastic.

    However in terms of disposal there can be little argument. PLA certified compostable will eventually compost down, whatever the conditions, into a material, that can sustain the next generation of plants. And it can be safely eaten by animals. Oil based plastic lasts forever, it degrades – breaks down into smaller pieces of toxic plastic that is now entering the food chain with unknowable long-term effects. and while it may kill us in the future, it is has already killed thousands of animals that accidentally ingest it mistaking it for food.

    Visually at least there is a strong case for making disposable products from a compostable material. We have had plastic rubbish for 50 years and disposable products from 50 years ago are still polluting the environment. Compostable products simply do not last like that.

    BUT, just because compostable plastic is as good it is, it is a disposable and the whole ethos of this blog is reusable’s first, disposables only when you absolutely have, and then something that can be disposed of yourself. We do not promote the wide spread use of any kind of plastic.

    I hope that goes some way to answering your question? These arguments are outlined at length in the rest of the blog if you want to read more.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Thanks – its a way of introducing people to the concept because it can be expensive buying the stuff individually to start with. Once you get the hang of it it is much cheaper to buy in bulk from the internet. x

  5. I do take my pyrex dish (which does have a plastic lid) to places – delis, butcher etc. I do sometimes reuse my icecream container for the butcher – yes, big bad plastic, but it’s a process. It’s a smart idea to have a little pack for people, and you might generate demand when the single use stuff needs replacing…

  6. Oh boy, what wouldnt I give to come and be freak with you but we are stuck here in the grey for the foreseeable, wet future. However the new plan is to live in the van – hopefully soon to be Freaks On Tour. And then no spare room will be safe from us…. take care and have fun x

  7. Good ol´ Aussies hey!! While your still home, car & job free, why don´t you pop to Portugal? Then we can hang out & I won´t have to be a freak on my own when I go to the events in the Summer -again. the 5th year, it´s getting a bit much! It´s sunny & I have a spare room….

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