News / Plastic

Zero Green: Bristol’s first zero-waste shop

By theo gittens, Wednesday Jan 31, 2018

Based on North Street in Bedminster, Zero Green will become Bristol’s first zero-waste shop when it opens at the end of February.

The shop will sell essential items, from pasta and rice to washing powder and shampoo, using gravity dispensers in a bid to completely cut out plastic packaging. Customers will bring their own containers and use scales to calculate prices using a system that is designed to be easy to use for all ages. Even the shop fittings are built from reclaimed timber from Bristol Wood Recycling Project.

Stacey and Lidia at the Bristol Wood Recycling Project, collecting timber for the shop’s interior

The founders Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada met whilst working for the National Trust, when they would bemoan the extensive plastic packaging that came with supermarket items.

Stacey, who has over 20 years’ experience working in the supermarket food industry, decided to take a leap of faith and set up her own shop in October 2017 using her knowledge of the industry to arrange zero-waste options with suppliers.

Inspiration came from Earth.Food.Love in Totnes, who reported that they saved the binning of 25,000 plastic containers in their first year, and continue to be one of the most important shops in the UK for the zero-waste community.

“Suppliers are happy to provide in bulk when they realised they can save money on packaging,” Stacey says. Clifton Coffee will be delivering their beans straight from the roasting machines, while existing zero-waste suppliers like Green Sense Farms are on board with the project. They’ll be providing washing powder, and wash all of their containers to re-use them for the next delivery.

Zero Green report that they’ve had a lot of interest from the Bedminster community about their shop, especially from older generations who told them “this is what shopping used to be like” – before the widespread use of plastic packaging in large supermarkets and corporate chains.

“It’s important to note that this is not just another shop pandering to hipster trends,” Stacey says. “The prices will be very reasonable and we aim to make the shop accessible to the whole community. If we can help you cut down your waste by even just a little bit then we are winning.”

Zero Green opens on 12 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1HT at the end of February. Follow their progress: www.facebook.com/Zero-Green-2000496846854761

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