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What are loose foods?
Loose foods are products that are sold unpackaged and you buy them by weight.
Of course lots of shops sell loose foods. Vegetables and meat are easily obtained  packaging free, even from supermarkets.
To get them plastic freeyou do have to take and ask that they will use your own plastic free packaging. It can be done.
However unlike America or Australia we don’t have many bulk stores or aisles where you can buy other kinds of food loose. I mean the stuff that that normally comes pre-plastic-packaged like rice, pasta and cocoa.
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! So to save you the stress of cocoa free nights,  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.
Lets go loose food shopping…
Remember
While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own plastic-free /reusable bags.

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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Shops Barmouth - read the review below Brighton - Hisbe - link here Bridlington – Weigh & Save Brixam Weigh & Save Bloggers Also in Brighton is the fabulous Ecothrifty ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Loose food in 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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Talking of Weigh and Save shops, I went up to Whitby for the weekend in November. Came across a whole load of goths and steam punks dressed up to the ...
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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, ...
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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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 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.

Supermarkets

Sometimes supermarkets can surprise you – check out the plastic-free and reduced packaging products 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

28 thoughts on “Refill Stores

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Steve’s Wholefoods, Chelmsford Retail Market

    Lathcoats Farm Shop, Beehive Lane, Great Baddow, Chelmsford

  9. 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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