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Where to Shop if You’re Looking to Go ‘Zero Waste’

When trying to live a zero waste lifestyle, it can be difficult to commit to it completely. Part of the problem comes from the food, toiletries, cleaning products and many other everyday things. The majority of people in the UK will go to supermarkets to buy what they need.

However, the problem with this is that supermarkets will use unnecessary packaging to protect everything they sell, from a bunch of grapes to dish sponges. What do we do with the packaging once we’ve finished? They go in the bin. What if we told you that you can still buy those things, but without the worry of generating waste as a result of packaging? 

There are around 200 zero waste shops throughout the United Kingdom according to Re-Gen. Generally, they offer the same things that a supermarket does, only without all of that packaging. In this article, we’ll be discussing what it means to go ‘zero waste’ and how it helps the planet. We will also give you some tips as to where you can shop for zero waste produce.

What does ‘zero waste’ mean?

Typically, zero waste means just that – producing zero waste. Where this lifestyle can be adopted both in the home and in the workplace, it’s far more achievable in a domestic setting. Where producing zero waste might not be realistic for most households in the UK, there are many different practices that can be adopted in everyday life that can dramatically reduce the amount of waste you’re producing. 

However, if you’re looking to go completely ‘zero waste’, then you’re choosing to do this as opposed to opting for sustainable or recyclable options, as many people would choose to do instead of going ‘zero waste’. Typically, those who are following a zero waste lifestyle will: reuse, recycle and reduce, all in a bid to avoid producing any waste materials. 

The sole aim is to avoid generating any type of waste, whether it be recyclable or not. But as zero waste lifestyles are, on the whole, difficult to achieve, there are any steps you can take that will help the planet when it comes to waste generation. But how does zero waste to landfill help the environment? Let’s take a closer look: 

How does it help the planet?

The clue is in the name – zero waste. It’s a lifestyle that involves producing as little waste as possible. That’s why it’s a great thing for the planet. As such, it’s never been more important for people to start living such a lifestyle. Whether it ends up being recycled or being thrown in landfill, producing waste is always a negative. 

Where recycling is better for the environment, not nearly enough is being done. According to Recycling Bins, only 44% of the waste produced in England is recycled. Therefore leaving the remainder, and the majority, to go to landfill. Gov.uk claims that the amount of municipal waste sent to landfill increased in 2021, coming in at 6.8 tonnes. In 2020, just one year before, the figure stood at 6.1 tonnes. 

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of people are looking to change their habits. According to Eco-Cycle, this sort of lifestyle is a solution to climate change because we will: burn fewer fossil fuels and produce fewer GHG emissions. 

The same source also states that recycling just one tonne of materials will save, on average, three tonnes of carbon emissions, so imagine what we can do if we don’t bother producing any waste at all. Toronto Environmental Alliance claims that there are actually several benefits of going ‘zero waste’, including:

  • It reduces our environmental impact
  • Is conserves resources 
  • It minimises pollution
  • It promotes social equity
  • It builds community between people
  • It supports a local circular economy
  • It can create jobs

How to start a zero waste lifestyle at home & where to shop

Living a zero waste lifestyle can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure about where to start. Whether you’re looking to make a few small changes to start off with or are going head-first into the zero-waste challenge, there are a few things you can do to make sure your zero-waste journey starts off successfully. In addition, we’ll also be helping you to find some great zero-waste shops in Burton-on-Trent if you’re wanting to hit the ground running, so here’s how to start a zero waste lifestyle at home:

Shop in zero waste stores

One of the easiest and often the first steps to going zero waste at home is to find out where your local zero waste shops are. Zero waste shops are able to cater for your every need, much like a traditional supermarket. Some of the biggest will allow you to purchase anything from shampoo with sustainable formulas to herbs and spices that are responsibly sourced. 

The best thing about zero waste shops is that they will not provide you with single-use packaging in order to make your purchases. You will either have to bring your own bags and jars or purchase them at the tills. Anything you do purchase from the shops will be either made of cloth or glass, allowing you to use it time and time again. Here’s where you can find some zero waste shops in Burton-on-Trent.

Support your local farm shops

Much like zero waste shops, farm shops also have a variety of food offerings. Bring your own cloth bags and glass jars to reduce the need for single-use packaging. This will enable you to purchase things like fruit and vegetables, baked goods and even a selection of meats without the need for single-use packaging. 

In addition to having the option to fill your own jars and cloth bags, it’s also beneficial to the planet because you aren’t travelling miles out of the way to the supermarket, therefore reducing your carbon footprint in the process. As well as this, you’re also helping to support a local, independent business. When you choose to shop at your local farm shop, you’ll have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Repair & reuse as much as possible

To reduce waste production at home, repair and reuse as much as possible. Even if something seems broken beyond repair, you should do your utmost to get it fixed. If you can’t do it yourself, take it to a professional. Reusing is also imperative if you’re looking to keep the waste you produce to a minimum. From reusing shopping bags to utilising tupperware for your work lunches, it all helps.

Invest in cloth produce bags

Cloth bags are a great way of purchasing produce without relying on single-use bags. They’re durable, long-lasting and effective at carrying even the smallest of fruits and vegetables. Use a cloth bag if you want to be eco-friendly while you shop. 

Don’t buy single-use products or products that are housed in single-waste packaging

Supermarkets are riddled with products that are packaged up in single-use materials. Whether it be plastic or paper, they’re still materials that are only used once. No matter what, it ends up in landfill or is recycled, it’s all adding to your carbon footprint. The best way of reducing it is to avoid making those purchases in the first place. Rely on aforementioned shops, butchers, greengrocers and farm shops to get your shopping done if you’re really dedicated to living this new lifestyle.

Willshee’s is dedicated to protecting the environment, with an aim to send 100% of the waste we collect to our nearby recycling facilities. Whether you’re hiring a commercial skip or a domestic skip, are in need of grab hire or need hazardous waste removal, all of our waste management solutions are sustainable and responsible. We will give you absolute peace of mind when it comes to eco-friendly waste disposal. If you would like further information, get in touch with a member of our expert team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.

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