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Couple open UK’s first zero-waste store and it’s proving to be insanely popular

3 min read

Good Stuff
Couple open UK’s first zero-waste store and it’s proving to be insanely popular
Source: None

The first shop of its kind in which all produce is stored loose within containers, and customers bring their own reusable packaging to refill each time they visit.

Consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth

Earth.Food.Love. is an organic, wholefoods, zero-waste shop based in Totnes, South Devon. Owners Nicola and Richard say they want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth. Focusing on creating a better future, they decided to look back to the past, where eating real food with minimal packaging was normal practice. They believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet’s too. 

Earth. Food. Love. The Zero Waste Shop The Uk's only Zero Waste, organic, bulk-buy, plant-based, wholefoods shop. Source: Facebook/RobGreenfield

Nicola and Richard’s story in their own words

Meet the family:

"Hi, I’m Nicola & I’m Richard and this is our daughter, Willow. We are passionate about the Earth we live on, the Food we eat and we believe everything should be built on Love. We are only just beginning our zero-waste journey, we are not perfect but each day we strive to be a better version of the people we were the day before. We thrive in learning new things and tackle challenges with passion and enthusiasm."

"We have a vision for the kind of world we want our children to grow up in and this shop is helping to make that a reality. It is with pride that we open our doors to you, as we work together as a community in creating a healthier planet."

How it all started:

"Not so long ago, living a fast-paced city life in an apartment block that had no recycling facilities we soon began to notice the accumulation of recycling we (as a family of 2) created each week. It was during these trips to and from the recycling plant that we thought ‘there must be another way?’ Each shopping trip then became a frustrating ordeal, as we so desperately tried to avoid unnecessary (and often toxic) packaging."

"Living gently on this planet can be approached from many different angles; having shorter showers, cycling to work and ditching the aerosols, but what if changing the way you shop becomes the most powerful form of activism that you do? Every time you make a purchase, you cast a vote for the kind of world you wish to live in. We want that world to be sustainable, clean and thriving for our future generations to enjoy."

"We look forward to you joining us on this mission; together we can be the generation of change!"

Source & Main Photo: TheZeroWasteShop.co.uk

The store utilises a sophisticated, yet simple to use self-weighing system that allows you to bring along any container to fill.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… The store utilises a sophisticated, yet simple to use self-weighing system that allows you to bring along any container to fill. Source: TheZeroWasteShop.co.uk

How it works:

The store utilises a sophisticated, yet simple-to-use, self-weighing system that allows shoppers to bring along any container to fill.

It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

STEP 1 – Place any empty container on the scale and print a label/write directly on the container the number it provides you with. This is now the weight of this container and can remain on the container for future use.

STEP 2 – Fill your container with desired product.

STEP 3 – Place the container back onto the scale, type in the weight number you received in Step 1 and print a ticket (or write) the weight and price calculated. Then pay for your product!

They say on their website:

We are huge advocates of reusing over recycling so please bring along any container that you like; a mason jar, jam jar, ice cream tub or lunchbox, if it can be weighed, it can be used!

At Earth.Food.Love, there are no problems, only solutions. So if ever you forget to bring a container of your own, feel free to use one of our paper bags (available in three sizes) which are made from FSC accredited wood pulp and are fully compostable with your food waste at home. You simply skip to step 3 once you’ve filled your paper bag.

If you are new to the zero-waste experience and self-serving in general, please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance and someone can show you how effortless it is to take back control of your food, getting the amount you need, not what large retailers force you to buy (and possibly waste). 

Shopping this way is simple to do, empowering to the customer and fun for the whole family to get involved in.

Source: TheZeroWasteShop.co.uk

“We are passionate about the Earth we live on, the Food we eat and we believe everything should be built on Love.” “We have a vision for the kind of world we want our children to grow up in and this shop is helping to make that a reality.” – Nicola and Richard. Source: TheZeroWasteShop.co.uk
Make an Impact

Index of Packaging-Free (Zero-Waste) Supermarkets and Grocery Shops Worldwide

In the following table you will find supermarkets and shops that allow customers to bring their own refillable containers. This helps to reduce packaging waste, food waste and the general use of (unhealthy) plastics. This list is never 100% complete, but we hope it will inspire you!