From cereals and grains to dried fruit, ethical supermarket chain Better Food has introduced a packaging-free wall in its largest store in St Werburgh’s in an attempt to combat the rise in the amount of food packaging waste that goes into landfill.
Before this waste-free system was introduced, the St Werburgh’s store already offered a range of self-serving products, including eggs, wine and hair care products. Lucy Gatward, Better Foods’ marketing manager, describes the purpose of introducing this new waste free wall as to “ensure less packaging ends up in landfill”.
Customers have begun using their own containers and cotton bags, rather than relying on packaging that will end up in landfill, Lucy says.
Founder of Better Food, Phil Haughton, introduced this waste-free concept in his first, now-closed store on Gloucester Road, and now the idea has taken off.
“Most things are in glass jars and paper bags, or just sold loose,” Lucy continues. “It feels as if plastic has crept in insidiously over the years. It’s time to reset the dial against this growth in the excessive use of plastic over the years.
Not only does Better Food’s waste-free dispensary wall bring benefits in terms of encouraging customers to reduce their waste created by packaging, but also in reducing food waste along with carbon emissions. “Buying in bulk means we can sell products for cheaper and customers only buy what they need,” Lucy says.
The dispensary units on the waste- free wall are similar to ones in London’s Planet Organic. Both were installed by the company Unpackaged. “We’ve been working with Unpackaged’s owner, the very knowledgeable Catherine Conway,” Lucy says. “She’s a true pioneer and her guidance has been invaluable.”
Whilst this packaging free wall is only currently installed in Better Food’s largest store in St Werburgh’s, introducing the same concept to their other two stores will be the company’s next big investment.
Find out more about Better Food’s low-waste initiatives at www.betterfood.co.uk