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Bulk food shopping

Often pre-packaged food and drinks can be avoided by shopping at a bulk food store or choosing the loose option at the grocery store.

What you can do

Choose to refuse groceries that use single-use plastic packaging.

How you can do it

From produce to cereal, drinks to snacks, the shelves of grocery stores can be filled to the brim with plastic packaging. When beginning your plastic-free journey, this might have become alarmingly apparent to you. 

Bulk and loose foods can offer a solution to this. Many people keep a shopping list and visit their bulk food store just once a month, to stock up on items such as flour, nuts, dishwashing liquid and more, in a way that doesn’t use single-use plastic.

Most bulk food stores and many general stores have paper bags that you can fill, or you can bring your own reusable produce bags, containers, and glass jars. You, or the counter assistant,  can weigh your container before you fill it, so that you’re only paying for the product, not the weight of your container.

Taking the next steps

As well as making your local bulk food store part of your routine shopping habits, many people head along to bakeries, butchers, delis and fishmongers, too. Remembering to bring your own container to these retailers will help them to wrap your purchase without single-use plastic.

The impact

  • Choosing bulk and loose product will help you to avoid food waste by buying only what you need.
  • Reduce waste and pollution by avoiding plastic packaging.
  • Protect our wildlife who can mistake plastic for food.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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