Goodbye Plastic: London's First Zero-Waste Supermarket Has Opened

You probably consider yourself "woke" when it comes to the environment – you recycle, avoid bottled water and ensure you always read about the devastating environmental impact of plastic – but most of us still generate too much waste in our daily lives.
Steps are being taken to slash our use of plastic bags (well done, Tesco) and a zero-waste lifestyle has become, dare we say it, somewhat trendy in recent years, thanks to the rise of zero-waste lifestyle bloggers and Instagrammers. However, it can be difficult to practice what we preach day-to-day, particularly when we're food shopping at supermarkets, most of which cover items in excess packaging.
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But living waste-free just got a whole lot easier in London, as the city has welcomed its very first packaging-free grocery shop. Bulk Market opened in Dalston, Hackney, last week and will run as a pop-up shop on Kingsland Road until 25th October, when it'll move to a more permanent spot in the borough.
The concept is simple – just bring your own receptacle, such as a glass bottle or jar, fill it up, pay by weight and be on your merry way. There are no plastic wrappers, containers, tins or boxes, just all the produce you'd need, presented in a charmingly rustic, plastic-free way.
Selling everything from fruit and veg to dairy and eggs, oils and vinegar and even beer and wine, you're unlikely to need to do a supplementary Tesco shop after popping in to Bulk Market. You can even pick up dog food, paper-wrapped toilet roll and a bamboo toothbrush. The shop also sources its produce locally, within a 50-mile radius, and is free of the big-name brands on which many of us are all too reliant.
Founder Ingrid Caldironi, who previously worked in retail marketing, wants visitors to the shop's website to know she's no "hippie, or treehugger," and that she's "never been a hardcore green" – so there's no excuse for us not to get involved.
"Like many others, I used to believe that stuff gets recycled, and there was no other way of living without creating a lot of waste," she writes. "After reading about a 20-something girl from NY with years of rubbish fitting in a jar, I decided to go zero waste. But companies don't make it easy for people to avoid waste. Bulk Market was born to fix this."