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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.

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.

Packaging

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.

Tare

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.

A to Z

My impressions of Aberystwyth have been mostly formed by the surreal, rather wonderful writings of Malcolm Pryce creator of Welsh noire. His lonely gum-shoe Louie Knight prowls the greasy, sun-lotion ...
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Find refill stores in Barmouth Bath Brighton Bridlington Brixam Bristol What Are Refill Stores? Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy food loose.You take as much as you ...
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Kingsmouth Devon Free local delivery – spend £7.50 and we will deliver free – within a 7-mile radius of Kingsbridge. Great for bulk buys. Good review here. Reapers @ReapersTiverton 18 Bampton Street, Tiverton, ...
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is for refill Stores in Edinburgh Emsworth 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 ...
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Pain Au Chocolat - home bake Pain Au Raisen - Home Bake Yorkshire Puds Fruits of the forest and other soft fruits Roast veg - peppers to potatoes Uncooked Vegetables ...
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Whole Foods Market are my idea of supermarket heaven. If there have to be supermarkets,  then let them be like this. 124-134 Fenwick Road Glasgow G46 6XN 0141 621 2700 ...
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A surprise discovery on a day trip to Horsham! Town & Country Weigh is at 7 East Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1HH. It has bulk food bins for rice (long grain, ...
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I try not to be bitter I really do but sometimes I think the yanks have it easy with their bulk buy shops. Sounds like you can buy just about ...
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Queensgate Market is a covered indoor market in the center of Huddersfield. It is home to over one hundred shops open six days a week. Bus Stop • Town Centre ...
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Liverpool Lincoln London Loose Foods? Anyone who lives in the U.K.  knows how hard it is to buy staple food like rice, pasta or cocoa loose and unpackaged. Do you ...
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Village Green Co-op Prestwich Village Greens is a Community co-operative grocery in Prestwich with fresh, local, organic, affordable produce . For the plastic free amongst us it has some loose, self-service ...
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Vegetable oil is difficult to source plastic free. Buy in glass and the metal caps will have a little plasticized disc or plastic liner on inside and maybe a plastic seal ...
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Welcome to SESI We are Oxford's longest serving refill station of food products and household detergents. SESI has its own range of laundry and household detergents which create no packaging waste from ...
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15B Causewayhead Penzance Cornwall TR18 2SN One of the incredibly eccentric loose food outlets that can occasionally be found huddled under the idiosyncratic Weigh and Save umbrella. You can read ...
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We always recommend shopping local and of course lots of shops sell stuff loose. Vegetables and meat are easily obtained loose and packaging free, even from supermarkets.  But anyone who lives ...
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The Market Local markets are a great place to find plastic free food and I love Todmorden Market. There is an indoor covered  hall and outdoor stalls. You can get ...
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Long time ago when I was young we used to visit the Weigh & Save shop in the precinct down the road. In it were a number of  big bins ...
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Loose Foods? Anyone who lives in the U.K.  knows how hard it is to buy staple food like rice, pasta or cocoa loose and unpackaged. Do you know how long ...
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Seems like a trip to York is in order... and not just because the Minster is lovely. Ruth tells me of Alligatorwholefoods.com in York. They have bulk bins of Rice, museli base, ...
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 U.K. Wide

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.

Remember
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

Here 

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 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

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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You can find a list of all other plastic free products over at the A to Z

BLOG STATS As of 01.29.2017 onward have been counting the number people who have read each post. WHY CUT PLASTIC About 100 million tons of plastic are produced each year and much of it is used to make one-use, disposable items. Because plastic doesn't biodegrade these items, though only used for moments can last for decades, centuries, possibly forever. We are creating ever lasting rubbish in unsustainable amounts. It is polluting the environment, maiming even killing animals, poisoning fish and may be poisoning us.

34 thoughts on “Refill/Bulk/Zerowaste Stores

  1. Locavore in Glasgow is another one for your list. Grows and sells its own locally grown vegetables and can buy grains, rice, pasta, etc in your own container. 66 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, G41 2AN http://glasgowlocavore.org/

    Harvest Co-op is another place in Glasgow where you can bring your own containers to buy in bulk. 1143 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, G41 3YH http://www.harvestco-op.com/

  2. Gaia Wholefoods in Lincoln
    Central Market
    Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    07891 370197
    Nicola, the proprietor sells whole food that she bags up but is willing to weigh out into your own containers if you give her enough notice.

  3. Hi, I’m not sure if you know this already, but there is a shop called Harvest in Walcot Street, Bath that sell loose nuts, grains, pulses etc. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi! So there is a True Food Coop local to Reading, Berkshire. It is actually in Emmer Green but is has bulk organic food and is run by the local community (it always needs volunteers). I get things from Past, Rice, oats, raisens, nuts and other dried pulses all from bulk bins in my own containers there. Additionally in Thatcham, Berkshire a butcher called Cook and Butcher takes orders by email and then keeps everything package free for us to come collect in our containers. He is always lovely and understanding. He also has loose veggies and bottled local beers. I think none of his meat comes from further than 15 miles away from his shop – so very local! Thanks for adding these. xx Michelle

  5. In edinburgh we have 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!

  6. Ignore? How do you suggest I source shops apart from seeing them myself, asking others to contribute, documenting their suggestions, unning various social media sites asking for contributions and contacting the main bulk suppliers.

    Perhaps you are unaware that I am doing this in a voluntary capacity. Sadly I don’t get paid to travel the country sourcing bulk food shops. And I do this in my spare time which does limit how many places I can visit. Perhaps if it was a paid job I could be more comprehensive.

    But you see and here is the thing – you really don’t know how many places I have visited because I can only list loose food shops that actually do exist. The reason many places are not listed is because there are no loose food shops. Which is the point of the post. I am not ignoring them, THEY ARE NOT THERE. They are a rare breed. Which is why am trying to put a list together of the ones that do exist. If there was a shop in every town I would hardly need to do this would I?

    As far as I know there are supermarkets in Ireland and they do sell food loose. Though no they are not brilliant on loose food.Again that is rather the point.

    Instead of using U.K. for the weigh and save list I could use England, Scotland & Wales but because the list is organised alphabetically I would prefer that no weighting was given to one area. I stand by that decision though I do feel your pain when you clicked through only to find nothing for Ireland.

    And if you have a more comprehensive list then do share it. This is a group activity.

  7. It would be nice if you ventured a little further afield – you say the UK but apart from supermarkets (not brilliant on loose food), two towns in Wales and Whole Foods in Glasgow you totally ignore Wales apart from Barmouth and Aberystwyth, most of Scotland, northern England apart from Yorkshire and Northern Ireland does not even get a mention. If you are going to restrict yourself to your own travels, fine – but don’t then talk about the UK

  8. Alan’s Naturally. in Hull, sells nuts, pulses,seeds, porridge oats, spices and other goods loose. They will put the spices in small polythene bags, but will use paper bags if you ask them to.

  9. Steve’s Wholefoods, Chelmsford Retail Market

    Lathcoats Farm Shop, Beehive Lane, Great Baddow, Chelmsford

  10. The Real Food Shop in Alsager and Demeter Whole Foods in Sandbach (both in South Cheshire) sell pulses, rice, nuts, dried fruit, herbs and spices and many other dried goods packed in cellulose which can go on the compost heap.

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