Zero-Waste Grocery Store: Your Complete Guide

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Why you need to start shopping at a zero-waste grocery store in the UK

less plastic in grocery shopping

Over the past few years, we’ve grown increasingly aware of the immense negative impact human practices have had on this world. Wastage and overuse of our natural resources have depleted them immensely, and we now face the possibility of many wildlife and fauna species going extinct.

Furthermore, increased wastage has clogged up our seas and landfill sites and has had a huge impact on global warming. If we don’t take a step to change our practices now, we may not be able to preserve the beauty of our Earth for the generations to come.

Everyone needs to play a part in bringing some positive change in our lives so we can help the Earth recover. While you can do your part by using biodegradable packaging in your personal life, you can also encourage others to do the same.

An excellent way to ensure greater corporate and social responsibility is by working with companies actively working to create a cleaner Earth. Zero waste grocery stores are an excellent alternative to your everyday shopping pit stops.

Below, we’ll talk more about zero waste grocery stores UK, food waste,  and list the best ones you can head to for all your daily needs.

So, keep reading below to learn how you can help make the Earth a better place for everyone.

What is a zero-waste store?

zero-waste grocery store

A zero-waste store is a supermarket where all plastic packaging is replaced with reusable items. This idea of zero waste store was generated after the 2000s in the UK, and then it spread around the world.

Now, there are more than 150 or more packaging-free stores globally. These zero waste stores help and encourage people to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle by cutting out unnecessary plastic packaging.

These stores sell just about everything, and their owners are not only concerned with plastics, but they also pay full attention to how the products they store are produced. Their topmost preferences are organic products, and some zero stores only sell organic products.

Zero-waste stores thus encourage only clean, healthy practices at a corporate level, which is vital when it comes to preserving the Earth for future generations. Whereas individual-level actions may have a small impact, bigger corporations can have a strong influence over our environment.

How do zero waste shops work?

In zero waste shops, everything is available or placed in bulk and unpackaged. The customers bring their containers which can be whatever they like, such as glass jars, bottles, paper or fabric bags or reusable bags.

Then, first, you have to weigh your empty container, using a self-weighing setup, and mention the weight on your container. Once you’ve done this, you can start filling your container with your desired grocery items.

Once you’re finished, you can reweigh your container and pay. If you don’t have a bag or visit there unprepared, then they have bags or containers there on sale.

Every time you bring your container, you cut down the amount of plastic that is harmful to ourselves and the environment. Zero-waste stores also carry locally sourced, clean, vegan products.

These products also help create a cleaner environment. Shopping at these stores can encourage others to do the same and can be vital in rebuilding cleaner communities.

grocery store less waste

Where are they?

This zero-waste concept isn’t new. The first zero-waste grocery store opened its doors in London, and then this idea spread to many countries like the US, Canada, South Korea and Taiwan.

Now, these stores are spreading rapidly across the globe. These zero waste stores are the place where people buy their groceries, knowing the effect on the environment is as minimal as it can practically be.

So, these zero-waste stores satisfy those customers who are well aware of the consequences of using plastic and want to play their part in the betterment of our environment.

Every zero waste market and store is different. They offer you a wide but different variety of products as their producers can be different.

Furthermore, you can buy as much as you want or as low as you require, so that’s a benefit for those who think that these stores are expensive.

Zero-waste stores in the UK

Here are some leading zero waste grocery shop online UK:

Earth food love – Devon

earth food love

This zero-waste store was established in 2017 by Nicola and Richard, and it was the UK’s first and only organic zero-waste store. They sell a hundred per cent organic food placed in self-serve or loose form.

They sell cereals, pulses, beans, nuts, seeds, sugar, flour, dried fruits, dried spices, dried herbs, loose leaf teas and many other things. Furthermore, if anyone wants to compare the prices from the market, they provide you with a pricing list of all their grocery products.

Earth Food Love also provides guidance on their website for those who want to start their setup of a zero-waste store. They thus play a huge part in encouraging the public to adopt healthier, cleaner eating and shopping practices and binning less food.

Earth Food Love store’s philosophy is contributing towards a better future for everyone and where consumption doesn’t cost our Earth and living. They believe in returning to a simple lifestyle like in the past, where minimal packaging was normal.

Not only is such a change vital for the Earth, but it is immensely beneficial for our health too.

Zero waste – Eastbourne


This zero-waste store was founded by the owner to improve the lifestyle and show people in practice that how effective and important this change is. They mostly sell locally produced products with zero packaging.

Sourcing locally made products is an excellent way to promote local economies and encourage everyone to take part in healthy, sustainable practices. They have plenty of items ranging from cleaning to beauty products and from the kitchen to homeware.

They provide a clean environment, helpful staff and reasonable price of their products.

They have a set of incredibly satisfied customers owing to their wide variety of products and sustainable practices.

This zero store allows us to make a huge change in our lives and shopping through them, and we also make a difference for the planet.

Their huge range makes it easy to find sustainable, cost-effective alternatives for many of the items we use regularly.

Jarful – Harrogate


Jarful is all about reusable packaging. They help you to reduce your waste and plastic consumption by doing away with conventional forms of packaging.

Alongside selling food, they sell a huge variety of other items. These include sustainably sourced reusable cloths, which are hundred per cent cotton made.

They also have a stunning variety of handcrafted candles in glass jars which are reusable. Washi paper tapes, chocolates and many other hands created and organic products are available there, making this store a shopper’s paradise.

Jarful store also offers you an environmentally friendly delivery service to the nearest areas, so they are providing an additional service to their dear customers.

Bulk Market - London

Bulk Market - London​

Bulk Market is one of London’s most popular zero-waste stores and started as a small crowdfunding project that expanded immensely. The bulk market takes the principles of zero waste to heart, and all of its products are hand-crafted and harvested.

Some of the products are made by the owner herself, and the store vows to source all their products from within a 50-mile radius. These practices ensure that this store promotes the local economy and encourages people to create a healthier community.

Furthermore, this company aims to produce as little waste as possible by shunning all forms of non-recyclable packaging.

Good Club – London

Not exactly a zero-waste store, Good Club is a start-up that aims to reduce awareness through its zero waste boxes. They offer subscription boxes of delicious fruits and vegetables delivered straight to your doorstep.

Good Club was founded to reduce the incidence of people wasting oddly shaped fruits or vegetables alongside packaging materials. They offer delicious seasonal boxes in recyclable packing, which can encourage people to adopt healthier eating practices while reducing waste.

Furthermore, they also deliver zero waste household products, and this good club review will tell you that they are worth investing in.

The Green Grocers – Norwich

The Green Grocers – Norwich ​

If you’re looking for a zero-waste store that offers you more than just cereals and seeds, this is the perfect option for you. This store has a huge variety of clean, vegan shampoos, beauty products, conditioners, and laundry products.

By shopping with them, you can stock up your entire house with green products that don’t damage the environment at all. In addition to these alternative products, you can also stock up on eating products.

You can find a wide variety of cereals, nuts, grains, and other food items perfect for stocking up your pantry.


What do refill stores sell?

Refill stores or zero waste stores sell a variety of products ranging from home décor to whole foods, alternative medicine and more. You can stock up on grains, cereals, dairy products, poultry and more from these stores.

You can also find a wide variety of locally sourced produce, which can help boost local economies immensely.

How can I get free food from plastic?

There are numerous ways you can get food without using any harmful plastic packaging. You can bring your bags and containers to fill out in grocery stores, which can eliminate the need for any plastic packaging.

You can also use paper or jute packaging instead of plastic, which is a much more durable and greener option. You can also reuse such forms of packaging easily.

If you can’t find an alternative to plastic packaging, then you can opt to get a large plastic bag and keep reusing it. This way, while you won’t be able to eliminate plastic entirely from your lifestyle, you can greatly minimize it.


Is plastic unhealthy?

Yes, it is. Apart from being incredibly detrimental to the environment, plastic can also pose serious health risks.

Plastic packaging can often carry many harmful chemicals, including various carcinogens and hormone disruptors. These chemicals can easily leech into your food and contaminate it.

With time, exposure to these chemicals can pose a serious health risk. Some chemicals in plastic packaging can cause direct toxicity, such as lead poisoning or mercury poisoning.

Plastic packaging also poses a serious risk to children. It can cause developmental issues, birth defects and a suppressed immune system.

Each of these challenges can be difficult to overcome, and so we all must switch from plastics to cleaner packaging as soon as possible.

What is the most environmentally friendly grocery store?

Although there are many environmentally friendly grocery stores you can pick from, Bulk Market is the best one to invest in. Bulk Market has a meaningful story behind the brand and is fully committed to staying clean and green.

Many of the products in the store are handcrafted by the owner, which shows immense commitment to the process. Furthermore, they also offer home goods such as décor and candles in sustainable packaging, which can encourage people to use cleaner products all across their homes.

Is it cheaper to shop with zero waste?

If you’re buying anything which you know is more suitable for your health, is organic, long-lasting and good for your environment, then spending your money on that is worth it. Some products at zero waste stores are more accessible and economical.

If you think that some products are expensive to buy from zero waste stores, then you can even buy as little you want for just trying any specific recipe. If you just want to try their products, this will cost you a minimum price and can help you test out the lifestyle before you commit.

With time, shopping at zero waste stores can become a vital part of your lifestyle, and even if you need to invest a little extra, it’ll be worth it.

What is a zero-waste grocery store?

Zero waste grocery stores are shopping centres that remove all types of unnecessary plastic from their business. Everything available here is in bulk form, with no casing or packaging.

Here, everything is stored in clear self-service containers. You can buy a bag from them, or you can bring a reusable container with you and take your grocery in it.

Their products are mostly organic and high in quality. Many imagine zero-waste stores to be incredibly limited in range.

However, that isn’t the case. In fact, zero-waste grocery stores have everything ranging from healthy pasta varieties to toothbrushes, grains, cheese, butter, eggs, fruits and vegetables and beauty, stationery and haircare items.

The only difference is that zero-waste grocery stores completely replace the use of plastic and don’t support the idea. Removing plastic from our lives is vital. Continued plastic usage means we will keep on clogging our seas and landfills until the Earth chokes with all the plastic.

Furthermore, zero waste stores promote a healthier lifestyle as we step away from synthetic, pesticide enriched foods towards cleaner items.

Is a zero-waste store profitable?

Like many businesses, zero waste stores can be profitable, too, as they are trending now. However, just as with any business, it takes around 2 to 3 years for the store to become profitable. 

As we all know, every business has suffered a lot due to this pandemic worldwide. As now things are getting better day by day, these small businesses are progressing more efficiently.  

An increased focus on health consciousness has made it easier for healthy, clean establishments to flourish in today’s age. Social media and the internet now regularly teach us the drawbacks of consuming an inorganic diet, and more and more people are gravitating towards a healthier lifestyle. 

Therefore, a zero-waste store has high expectations to make good profits in today’s age. 

Why is shopping zero-waste so expensive?

Zero waste products are, in some cases are slightly more expensive compared to conventional shopping. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that the products you purchase from zero waste stores are more organic and sustainable, so they are worth the money.

However, not all zero-waste store products are more expensive than conventional ones. There are many items which are relatively more economical than you might think.

Zero waste grocery stores have clean, healthy products which are worth the investment. Furthermore, most stores these days have a wide range full of products that can suit everyone’s budget.


Zero waste grocery stores are slowly becoming more and more popular in recent days as more people get the idea of zero waste shopping and its benefits. Buying from these shops is not just food it’s about what you’re consuming and how your consumption affects the whole process.

These shops offer you wholesome food options rather than processed food. They completely restrict junk food and force you towards healthier and locally sourced foods and ingredients.

Supporting them means you’re not only concerned about your health, but you’re also concerned about your environment as they are plastic packaging-free stores. So, investing in these stores is an excellent way to give back to your environment in every way.

Not only do you work towards creating a healthier environment, but you also boost local economies and help the small businesses who need investment the most.

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Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best! 

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