Bulk buy/package free/zero waste shops
Shops that sell unpackaged goods in order to save plastic and environmental waste
The most effective way of reducing your single use plastic consumption is to shop in bulk food stores. With more people gaining awareness of plastic waste and as a result cutting down there are increasingly more bulk food stores popping up.
UK supermarkets sell a staggering 59 billion items wrapped in single use plastic in a single year. Since bulk buying for the month of Plastic Free July I realised that it’s surprisingly was doable. While I’ll admit it isn’t always the most convenient way of shopping, especially if you’re having a busy week and not able to make it to a bulk shop, it does requires a bit of planning ahead.
Now for our tried and tested guide to bulk shops in London. Just head along with your refillable containers/bags or fill up using the paper bags supplied. If you’re based outside of London then view the list of bulk stores in the UK and beyond at the end of the article.
Veg hut E17
This small local independent bulk shop in Walthamstow sells mainly organic produce and some great vegetarian/vegan alternatives. Things they sell loose include: fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, grains, dried fruit, nuts, shampoo, conditioner and more.
There are a few stores in London but the one most central one is in Devonshire Square (near Liverpool Street station). They don’t sell much loose produce aside from fruit and vegetables, but they have loads of eco and organic products. They are now also doing home compostable packaging on their organic essentials!
As Nature Intended
This chain store near Spitalfields Market have, in my opinion, one of the best ranges of bulk produce. They sell loose fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, shower gel, shampoo, washing up, liquid detergent and much more.
With multiple stores in London, including a huge one in Kensington which stocks everything imaginable, they are the go to for all bulk produce. Their choice of produce is second to none selling nuts to chia seeds and everything in between but they are on the expensive side.
This small shop in the railway arches in Hackney are a great independent shop despite being quite small. They sell loose versions of everything including peanut butter (which you make yourself), vegan butter, shower gel, body butter, oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, frozen fruit and much more.
While all of the shops are great and sell a range of different goods my favourites are Bulk Market and As Nature Intended. For me Bulk Market seems the most independent and therefore makes me want to support them and they have a great choice despite being small. As Nature Intended on the other hand has a good range of loose produce and all round great eco products.
Now start saving your olive jars, resealable food pouches, paper bread bags and head down to your local bulk store!
UK and US/Canadian based apps and websites:
- Zero Waste Near Me website – UK based
- Zero Waste Home app – US and Canada
- The Zero Waster’s blog has an exhaustive list of bulk food stores in the UK
Lauren works for a public health charity, is our resident vegetarian (11years!) and volunteers for an animal charity in her spare time. Her favourite eco product is the Face Halo.