Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy all kinds of food like rice, suet, even soup mix – loose and unpackaged.
You take as much as you want/need from a larger container, weigh and pay.
You can usually use your own packaging.
The advantages for the #plasticfree shopper hardly need stating!
These are common in America and Australia, far less so in the U.K. But we do have some.
I have put together a list of stores that sell loose products, listed alphabetically by the location / 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.
Not yet filed
Spill The Beans, Wimborne, Dorset. As they sell loose spices, dried fruit and nuts. Plus eCover refills, Faith in Nature and other solid soaps – all package free. HTH . From Liz Hodge http://spillthebeanswimborne.co.uk/
thanks for the add. I thought zero-wasters living in Dorset might be interested to know about my wholefoods store, Cariad Wholefoods, in Blandford Forum. We’re still quite new but sell lots of wholefoods, herbs, spices and botanicals loose. We also have a refill station for Bio-D cleaning products, loose soaps, etc. Everything we sell is ethically sourced, cruelty free and suitable for vegans and we are happy to take bulk orders and work with food co-operatives. It’s a growing business and my personal dream to sell as much as possible unpackaged over the coming months. Hope that some of you will visit 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/cariadwholefoods/
The Uk’s only Zero Waste, organic, bulk-buy, plant-based, wholefoods shop. Visit our family-run shop in Totnes, Devon.
A to Z
There is a very useful list of shops on this blog
Scoop & Save, Weigh & Save ….and lots more related names
The nearest the U.K. has to bulk food buying. As far as I can tell, these shops run as individual unit. They go under a variety of names – Weigh & Save, Scoop & Save, etc. They are extremely idiosyncratic and vary greatly in presentation and range. Some go the whole hog with corporate green and yellow displays with a range of stuff to choose from, others a are little more than a few dusty bins at the back of the shop. You can read more here including a list of shops that have closed.
Whole Food Market – if we have to have supermarkets let them be like this. They have loose food aisle and you can take your own containers which they will tare for you. They don’t have many branches in the U.K. yet but if there is one near you your problems are solved. Reviews here.
Other Supermarkets & Chainstores
Sometimes supermarkets can surprise you – check out the plastic-free and reduced packaging products here.
While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own.
Find A Milk Delivery Service With Glass Bottles
Bulk Buy In Polythene
Ok some things you can’t find plastic free and can’t give up. So which plastic packaging has the least impact? The best advice here is avoid the fancy graphics and shiny films and go for the simple, easily recyclable polythene. Find suppliers here
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…
You can find a list of all other plastic free products over at the A to Z