Nottingham The Roasting House – coffee

We’re a micro coffee roastery based in Nottingham. We roast all of our coffee in very small batches to order. Our environmental and ethical values guide us in how we run our business. We have a zero waste to landfill policy informs our purchasing decisions and use only 100% recycled and recyclable paper packaging and labels for our coffee. At events when serving hot coffee, we use both ceramic reusable cups and fully compostable takeaway cups.


Twitter: @roasthse

Please note..

This post was written by the contributor and  is  a PfU.K. Directory submission. We have not tried this product but it sounds great! Would love to see that packaging…
And the Pf U.K. Directory is…?
…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily but certainly plastic-problem aware.
The DIRECTORY is to promote their fantastic work. Read more here…

Got a project?
It is very easy to get a project featured. Each contributor submits a short synopsis of their project, focussing on the plastic aware element and I post it. You can read the submission guidelines here.


Find  more plastic free coffee & tea here…



I have long wanted a Soda Stream to make my own fizzy water for soft drinks and, more importantly, mixers for gin -the best of all spirits. For now I am buying tonic in tins (but they of course come plastic lined), or bottle (plastic-lined, metal cap and very expensive!).

But it has to be a SodaStream Crystal Sparkling Water Machine ( see one here) because these take glass bottles rather than plastic.

Until now there have been 2 drawbacks to this scheme. Recently I have been traveling… a lot. No fixed abode means no large kitchen appliances. Extended travel also results in limited income and those things cost around £110.00 pounds. Yes I am sure I would make the money back in the long run but in the short term I simply don’t have the cash.

Recently however the planets have aligned. I now have a kitchen and I got a bargain on Ebay. A new Soda Stream machine in original packaging for less than half price. Given my gin drinking habits, I will soon make that back!

Yes the machine is plastic but I consider this to be plastic that ultimately cuts my plastic consumption. And of course it is cutting my consumption of  disposable plastics while it is a reusable item.


The Soda Stream itself was well packaged. The box is shiny cardboard (maybe plastic coated) with one little plastic carry handle. Inside it was all brown card protective units. Yay!

The Ebayer I bought it off sent it wrapped in bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and plastic tape.

If I had got it from a shop it would have been almost plastic free… but when you are skint you often have to compromise. Sigh.

Bottles & Gas

It was so cheap because it came without a bottle. At least that is what I understood the blurb to say. So I bought some gas and a glass bottle from Amazon. I know it was wrong of me and I wont do it again but they too were bargains.

The Amazon packaging was cardboard with plastic tape and the original soda stream gas and bottle packaging were (plastic coated?), shiny cardboard.

The gas bottle itself had a plastic cap and a seal. And a plastic sleeve with information printed on. I see no reason why this could not be paper.

Not In My Bin….

The tape had to go on my monthly plastic tally but the boxes I free-cycled. There’s always Ebayers who need packaging.


To make fizzy drinks you need to mix the carbonated water with concentrated cordial. You can buy a range of Soda Stream mixers to make all manner of beverages from cola to tonic. They come in plastic bottles and while this represent a massive cut in overall plastic consumption, I think it is avoidable.

You can buy cordial in glass bottles from most supermarkets but it is really easy to make your own and you get to control how much sugar and other nasty additives go into them. I find commercial soft drinks, even tonic, to be way too sweet.

To date I have made raspberry fizz and ginger and lemon sparkle. Both taste great with gin!

Raspberry Fizz

Go to Bently Grange PYO fruit farm and get some raspberries. Boil them up with some sugar. Strain. Add fizzy water. Yay!

Ginger & Lemon Sparkle

Boil ginger pieces, lemon juice and sugar. Strain. Add fizzy water. You can save the ginger to flavor other stuff with. Goes great with melon!

Grapefruit & Lavender Blush

Juice of the grapefruit, few heads of lavender the last dollop of jam. Add some sugar, boil.


If you put enough sugar in I guess these cordials would last a long time. I don’t use much sugar so I make small batches and keep them in the fridge for a few days. If I make a lot I  freeze the cordial as cubes of icy flavour.

Find more recipes in the plastic free cookbook


U.K. water bottle refill schemes

Bristol Water Refill

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Selfridges Water Refill

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Give Me Tap – water bottle, water refill & water aid

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Bath, Love Tap Water Refill Scheme

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Water Abroad

We sterilize our own water using a Steripen …. but when a bottle refill service is offered we will use that instead. Find refill places here…

Of course water in many countries the water is actually safe to drink – you can find out where here.

And here are a list of places you can refill your bottle abroad

Water Bottles

Check out which water bottle here

Water Bottle Bans

Links to interesting projects that are tackling the problems of bottled water

Drinking chocolate

Plastic free July  beverages include  the rather luxurious real drinking chocolate. I have long been on a quest to source plastic-free cocoa. It has not been going well. Morrisons let me down and then there was my mothers disappointing cardboard box. I was nearly there  in  Whitby but had to leave  before it happened. If you want to know more you can catch up here….

Well Todmorden Market once again come up trumps. The deli stall sells real drinking chocolate wrapped in paper and foil. You buy it in bars, bash it into bits and melt it in hot water or milk, (or my personal fave half / half mix), to make drinking chocolate. Or you can chuck a chunk in a shot of espresso in to make a funky, monkey mocha. It tastes good but there is a downside – it  is not cheap and you can’t use it to make chocolate cake!



I do have a social life. I occasionally get to  go out to dinner and wine is the present of choice. My friends are are gluten-free, minimalist drunks – what else am I going to take? But bottled wine often contains plastic – either a plastic cork or the metal screw top lid is plastic lined.

So I thought I would try to find a wine that was corked with a cork. I climbed out of the bargain booze bins and took myself off to a proper wine merchants. I explained my problem to the proper wine merchant and he recommended the Spanish wines as being more likely to use corks (they want to keep their cork industry alive). Also the better quality wines tend to use corks. Not entirely sure gluten-free drunks deserve such a treat but went ahead and purchased a bottle of quality Spanish wine with a cork sealed in foil.

HA! Peeled off the foil to a cork – sure enough…. BUT the foil, was plastic lined! Damn!

Seems the only way to get really plastic free wine is to use a refill service. Of course our civilised european cousins in Italy and Spain allow you to do just this. Most places will have a shop where you cant take your own bottle and get it filled with a choice of wines. Back in the U.K. your choices are rather more limited.

Borough Wines

When I went to Green Oscars, (did I mention I was in the same room as Colin Firth -hey it’s a start!), they were serving wine from Borough Wines . Borough Wines sell wine on tap and offer a refill service (you can read a Guardian review here). I don’t know if it was the tap wine we were drinking but my white was very nice. Sadly they only have shops in London – there’s a list here .

Whole food Supermarket

Wholefood supermarket also do a wine refill service (They have stores in Glasgow, London and Cheltenham – maybe more now – check the link)

Buying Refills In Cheltenham

Wholefood Market  (Cheltenham) offers a wine refill service. You buy a glass liter bottles from them that you then refill, yourself from the large and lovely barrel of wine. But as we wanted rather more than a liter and have no room for glass bottles in the van , (our current home). So we brought our own emergency plastic water bottle. It’s big and it’s plastic. Classy!


Dreadful shock then when we got there.  The refill wine barrel  I saw last time I was there was no longer in place. Desperate enquiries revealed that this hadn’t worked out and the wine kept going off.

I visibly reeled “But what of my wine refill” I whimpered.

Thankfully they still did refills but now a member of staff fills your bottle from a huge 15 liter wine box. Not quite what I was expecting and  stretching the not- in- my- bin rule to it’s limit – but still a refill is a refill and the plastic wasn’t in my bin. And there is still some green kudos to be gained it – was organic and cost considerably less to transport it this way. Besides which we desperate.

We proffered the canteen with trembling hands. Arghh!!! Now there was some doubt as to whether we could use a huge plastic water carrier. Once again we waited anxiously and sagged with relief when they agreed that we could.

Norfolk, Reno Wine

Not used those guys – the following is from their website…

“Our speciality is Refillable Bottles…

Buy one of our bottles and fill it with wine from our barrel taps in the Reno Wine shop in Wymondham, Norfolk.
Rinse out your bottle and bring it back to fill with more wine – and by reusing save yourself the cost of the glass bottle!
Speciality ‘Crafted Cask’ Whisky in Refillable Bottles also now available…

Go to 15 Market Street, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0AJ
Open 9.30-5.30, Tues-Sat


T: 01953 425995
M: 07913 672275


A review of Clapton Craft – refill beers and wines. can be found here. 


If anyone else knows of other wine refill options please leave a comment below… many thanks.

You can find other plastic free beverages here…



Tea & Coffee Merchants

Since the bad news about Twinings tea bag (compostable packaging but tea bag part plastic), I have been drinking loose tea or rather cake tea which we bought in Malaysia, wrapped only in tissue paper. But one tea can never be enough! And Malaysia is rather too far to go for some tea – think of the air miles! So we are putting together a list of loose tea merchants.

You will need to take your own bags

New Boys


The Teapot has  coffee beans and leaf tea from all round the world. Really lovely stall in the food hall. Also makes coffee to drink. See what else the market has to offer, here.


We’re a micro coffee roastery based in Nottingham. We roast all of our coffee in very small batches to order. Our environmental and ethical values guide us in how we run our business. We have a zero waste to landfill policy informs our purchasing decisions and use only 100% recycled and recyclable paper packaging and labels for our coffee. At events when serving hot coffee, we use both ceramic reusable cups and fully compostable takeaway cups.


Coffee Evolution
Coffee beans from the superlative Coffeevolution  our independent coffee shop. The boys there import their own fair trade beans and roast them themselves. I give them my own bag they give me fresh beans

Lancaster tea merchants I promised I would tell you the name of the Lancaster tea merchants where I got loose tea last summer. Also loose coffee. The shop has been there years – I used it back in the early 70s. Lyn Bull x

Nitty Gritty Wholefoods  do loose spices and tea.

Loose tea can also be found on Todmorden Market.

WHole Food Market have branches in London, Cheltenham and Glasgow  Tea & Coffee beans and are happy for you to use your own bag.

CHeck out the stores on the refill food list as they may stock one or the other

Refill Food shops A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them.

Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food.

Bags & Packaging

Shopping plastic free means taking your  OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Help Me

I will be researching  other plastic- free, loose teas available in the UK . If you know of any please do leave a comment.


How to make plastic-free tea – it’s all in the tea balls

Need a splash of milk – you need to get yourself a milk man who delivers milk in glass bottles (details here)  and possibly a milk jug!



Of course you can get beer in bottles but those metal caps have a plastic liner or small disc to prevent leakage. It’s a tiny amount but it is plastic.
Cans of beer  are plastic lined!
The only way to get plastic free booze is to use a refill service. Take your own flagon to the alehouse and get them to fill it. These are the ones I know of


The Sportsman Huddersfield  will sell you your own reusable flagon. Yes its plastic but it will last you a good long time.
The Grove
The Head Of Steam ( also sells plastic flagons)
All sell great real ales and very reasonable priced. 

Magic Rock sell metal reusable flagons. Very stylish! Also sells  great real ales but they are more expensive.

If anyone else knows of other beer refill options please leave a comment below… many thanks.


Hi Kate, I have been out and about in Kentish Town again  A review of Clapton Craft – refill beers and wines.

You can find other plastic free beverages here…


Tonic Plastic Reduced

I still drink tonic because I still drink gin. Of course I still drink gin! I could barely get through  if it wasn’t for gin! But no matter how pressing the need I will not drink tonic from plastic bottles.


So I buy Schweppes  tonic in cardboard packs of 6  tins.Yes I know tins are plastic lined…..but I need that gin. Only joking under 18s. Hardly touch a drop.At least I did till this happened…. Yes that is plastic wrapping.

So I moved onto Tescos own brand which is not too bad. Same deal – 6 tins in a cardboard box.

You can get a similar tonic package from Sainsburys – bigger cans but not so much to my taste.

And now Schweppes have reappeared unwrapped.

Talking of size….

The downside of buying tonic like this, is that the cans are rather small and I have a lot of very thirsty lady friends. It can get pricey.

The plus side is, that if like me you only have a very small snifter, very occasionally, your tonic is always fresh!


You can buy tonic in glass – Fevertree are good but way too pricy for me


I recently got a Sodastream that makes fizzy water. I will be experimenting with home made tonic in the non too distant future


You can find other plastic-free boozes and  related items here

Visit Huddersfield Tescos

Visit Huddersfield Sainsburys

Find plastic free Huddersfield Here



Many years ago all was well in the shire. Yorkshire that is. We had amassed a wide range of plastic free drinks – tea, milk, coffee and fizzy drinks could all be got plastic free.  Which only left cocoa.

It was Mrs Green who  showed us the way to Morrisons and their freetrade, plastic-free, cardboard-packaged cocoa The cocoa came in a box lined with paper. Supergreen. Ok, the paper was possibly (probably) lined with plastic, but it was the best I could do.
For a while life was good then yesterday I took a special trip to Morrisons to buy some more and there was none to be had. They hadn’t just run out but there was no space for it on the shelves

So do Morrison’s still do Fairtrade cocoa? Well according to the Fairtrade website yes they do.Is it just the Huddersfield store that has decided not to stock it? Was I just unlucky in cocoa that day? I went to the Morrisons website to see if I could find the answer.

Once again I came away empty handed. Unless I am being extremely gormless, there is no way to search for individual products on the Morrison website?!You look under various headings bakery, grocery, etc, and are greeted by a wodge of prose and puns – their academy trained bakers love to use their loaves for example – but of specifics, there were none.

Latest News On Asda 

Have heard since that Asda do cocoa in a cardboard box with paper liner. Off to check that out!

The Joker Box Of Shame

Then Mother got involved. She burst into the house flushed with pride.“I dont know what all the fuss is about”, she carrolled handing me a box of cocoa from Sainsburys.

Yes, a cardboard box, of cocoa.As if!

How many times have I told her “Squeeze and listen!” for the tell tale crackling of the plastic bag inside. Sure enough the cocoa was further packed in a plastic bag – and not even one we can recycle. You can find other other sneaky plastics here.

Weigh & Save

The Whitby Weigh & Save shops sells cocoa pre-packed in plastic bags.The lovely lady in the shop explained to me that the cocoa powder was so fine it flew up everywhere if left loose so they pre-packed it. She kindly offered to specially pack some up for me when the next lot was delivered. sadly I had to leave so could not accept this very kind offer.

Barmouth Weigh & Save

saves the day – loose cocoa in my own bag 


Find more refill stores here 

And real drinking chocolate here



Water Tap

Tap water in many countries the water is actually safe to drink. In others sadly it is not. You can find out here…
Can I Drink The Water?
Visit this super cool website to find out if you drink the water. Just pick the country you want and read the result.

Safe Tap Water

Yes? Hooray – all you need to take is your refillable bottle. Fill it with tap water and no need to ever buy bottled.

Read up about U.K. Tap water here 

But Surely Bottled Is Still Better?


Some articles on the subject
And here 
And this about PET plastic bottles 
So much so that water bottle bans are becoming more common 

Not Safe Water?

Sterilise Your Own Water
When the tap water is not safe we still don’t buy bottled water. Instead we sterilize tap water using a Steripen. Been doing this for years all over the world.

Refill Schemes

Refill Schemes in the U.K. The U.K.  is one country lucky enough to have safe drinking water BUT sometimes when you are out and about it can be hard to access tap. These worthy schemes  aim make safe, free, tap water available.

Refill Abroad

Many countries offer a refill service where you can buy filtered purified water
Find A Refill Service
S.E.Asia Thailand & Malaysia

Carbonated Water

But I like fizzy water. Make your own from tap 

Water Bottles

Check out which refillable water bottle here


In the office– try these water filters 

Got no taps?– If you must drink bottled water this might interest you; water packaged in PLA compostable plastic bottles

Better still – make your own water from air. Have a look at this interesting machine. “Our smallest machine, the Water from Air™ AW3 makes up to 32 litres of great tasting, purified water straight from the air. Our largest, scalable machines (WFA100+) make up to 1500 litres per day, per unit – for example, if the need is 6000 litres per day, the configuration will require 4 stackable units.” Visit the web site. 


Alcohol – to drink

Plastic free booze is hard to find….glup!!!!. But as giving up IS NOT AN OPTION…here are our best choices….

The Plastic In Booze

Metal caps have a plastic liner or small disc to prevent leakage. It’s a tiny amount but it is plastic. This is true of everything from spirits to bottles of beer
Cans of beer and tonic are plastic lined!
Wine may have plastic corks. Even if you find a wine with a cork the foil round it may be plastic lined!


Spirits & Liquors
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 servic. I have not used them – please let me know how you get on…
Edinburgh 32 Victoria Street Edinburgh EH1 2JW 0131 225 4090
Glasgow 382 Byres Glasgow G12 8AR 0141 3373 600
York 11 Museum Street York YO1 7DT 01904 637 487

Failing that you can at least buy local, (Yorkshire that is), moonshine… erm I mean , premium quality, traditionally distilled and using Harrogate Spring water, Yorkshire gin

Wine Refills

You can get plastic free wine in a few parts of the UK.

Beer Refills
Take a container and ask for takeout.Here are my favourite pubs…

Mixers & Soft Drinks
Tonic in tins are out as the tins are plastic lined. Fever Tree Mixers come in glass  You can find out more (including where to buy) from their website. But they are pricy.
I recently got myself a Soda Stream which means I can make my own mixers, carbonated water and of course fizzy Drinks

You can find reusable and compostable straws here.

I am still using plastic ice cube trays. If they ever pack in I might try the metal ones shown below. They look a bit fiddly. as anyone used them?

Cocktail Shaker and Other Gubbins
You don’t need one – just more rubbish in the kitchen cupboard. Mix them in a jug! Stirred James, stirred! But if you have to have to, you can get some lovely plastic free items

For the rest,this  Amazon  shopping list may inspire you. Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However these links are for 3rd party sellers, we have always found the Amazon service to be good and their packaging usually compostable. In the absence of anything else we feel we can recommend them.

Andrew James Double Walled Insulated Stainless Steel 2 Litre Ice Bucket With Set of Tongs Premier Housewares Sphere Ice Bucket - Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray - BPA Free
Andrew James Double Walled Insulated Stainl… Premier Housewares Sphere Ice Bucket – Stai… Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray – BPA Free
FIREFLY® Eco Straws - Stainless Steel Drinking Straw Premium Grip with Cleaner 4 Pack Stainless Steel Martini Picks - Pack of 6 | Novelty Cocktail Sticks, Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws - 12 Pack
FIREFLY® Eco Straws – Stainless Steel D…
Stainless Steel Martini Picks – Pack of 6 |…
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws – 12 Pack



Milk & Milkmen

British consumers got through nine billion pints of milk last year. 90% of that milk was bought in a plastic container. That’s a lot of plastic trash only a percentage of which gets recycled. See some recycling stats here.
Glass milk bottles can be re-used up to 20 times. By my calculations that means that 1 bottle lasts 20 days that equals 18 bottles a year as oppose to 364 plastic bottles a year.So I got myself a milk man with real glass bottles.

Do you want one? Course you do!
Are they expensive? I pay £1.70 for 2 pints of organic semi skimmed delivered to my door.

This his website can  help  Find Me A Milkman does exactly what it says on the tin. Type in your postcode to find who is delivering in your area. N.B. Not all deliveries are in glass – you will have to check

Milk and More Dairycrest  also deliver nationally. However they were looking to phase out glass bottle and replace them with plastic. You can read more here

Local & Glass

These companies are smaller and usually local businesses. When last checked, the delivered milk in glass bottles – BUT DO DOUBLE CHECK

In The North


Darlington Acorn Dairy, do doorstep delivery in glass bottles. They deliver to Darlington,South Durham and the Dales/North Yorkshire.


Ian on 0795 829 0246 delivers.

This is thanks to the students of Landcaster who gave up plastic for Lent. May be out of date but worth a try.In case anyone is looking for a Lancaster Milkman, here is a useful list compiled by Emily! Milkmen in Lancaster (April 2009)
Raymond McDougall tel: 01524 36158 – covers Fairfield and the Marsh.
Hey & Sons tel: 01524 770343 – covers Primrose, Greaves, Scotforth, Piccadilly and Lancaster University.
Martin Edwards tel: 07739 486357 – covers Hala.
Colin Johnson tel: 01524 36222 – covers Aldcliffe, Ashton Road, Torrington Road.

Mc Queens Diaries  deliver to Headingly Leeds and perhaps other places too

Cream Online is a great doorstep delivery service that does milk in glass bottles. But also juice! And it delivers a veg box which when I asked they told was very much plastic reduced. I didn’t actually use the veg box service so you might want to double check.It also delivers all kinds of other essentials. Not plastic free stuff but not from a chain either. Rather it is a local, family run company.


Moofresh – loads of different milk in glass bottles. They deliver round Birmingham and Tamworth – you can find a full list of places here on their website

The Cotteswold Dairy serve:
Colony Bay
More info here 

Kirby & West

Family run dairy business delivering milk and other products to doorsteps around Leicester, Market Harborough and Lutterworth.



Parker Dairies is a small independant dairy situated in Walthamstow, supplying milk and other goods all over east london and the city.


£1 for 1L bottle £1 to fill it from a vending machine.

North Oxfordshire

North Aston Dairy

  • North Aston
    Upper Heyford
    Lower Heyford
    Steeple Aston
    Middle Aston
    Duns Tew

We deliver the milk late afternoon onto doorsteps in glass litre bottles. It is pasteurised but unhomogenized so has a lovely layer of cream on top. We also attend East Oxford farmers market every Saturday. Follow us on twitter @northastondairy Enquiries –

Ongar Dairy



Milk delivery across Epping Loughton and Chigwell. Our product range includes local and organic produce delivered by 7am


Essex Dairys @essexdairys Twitter Says YES they deliver in glass!

Milk, eggs, cheese, yogurts and much more delivered to offices, restaurants and homes across Essex and guaranteed by 7am!! Contact us at

Felsted, England

U.K. Wide

And this website can  help  Find Me A Milkman does exactly what it says on the tin. Type in your postcode to find who is delivering in your area.
N.B. Not all deliveries are in glass – you will have to check

Milk and More Dairycrest deliver nationally. keep the glass featuredDairycrest is a big company that deliver nationwide. However they were looking to phase out glass bottle and replace them with plastic. You can read more here 

Milk Dispensers

If you can’t find a local milk man why not petition your supermarket to set up a milk dispenser where you can refill your own bottles.