Farmers’ markets; glass jars of nuts and flour; reusable shopping bags and composting – these are all things that were simply not on anyone’s mind until recently, and if they were, they were prompted by feelings of guilt, because it all seemed unattainable and reserved for those with A LOT of extra time on their hands. But as we are all growing increasingly aware of the impact we are having on the environment, lots of businesses are catching on and taking steps to make it a lot easier for the regular consumer to do better. One of the things on the list is to reduce single use plastic and packaging on our everyday items and food – and loose markets and bulk sections of supermarkets are on the increase all over the UK.
Here’s a list of great places where you can refill your groceries in your own containers or grab loose items and put them into paper bags.
Planet Organic, Muswell Hill, Westbourne Grove, Islington and Torrington Place: The UK’s largest fully certified organic supermarket offers things like legumes, nuts and grains unpackaged, and you can bring your own container.
Wholefoods, Clapham Junction, Camden, Kensington, Stoke Newington, Piccadilly Circus, Richmond and Fulham: Wholefoods locations carry a range of dried goods unpackaged like cereals and grain, and unpackaged fruit and vegetables.
Bulkmarket, Hackney: Sells a wide range of plastic free groceries and dried goods.
Save the Date, Hoxton: Not a refill station, but Save the Date collects produce and you can “pay as you like” so they don’t go to waste.
Unpackaged, Muswell Hill: Lots of unpackaged foods, dried goods and detergent refills.
Hetu, Wandsworth: Full on Zero Waste store, offering a whole range of wholefoods unpackaged.
The Veg Hut, Walthamstow: Fully stocked with dried goods, detergent refills and fresh fruit and vegetables – all plastic free.
Get Loose, Hackney: Part of Hackney City farm, sells everything from fruit, pasta and grains, plus milks in glass bottles and cheese packaged in compostable wrapping.
The Refill Larde, Teddington: Bulk dry goods, household items and soap, plus plastic alternatives such as brown bags, food wraps and copper pan scrubbers.
BYO, Tooting: Packaging and plastic free dry goods, toiletries and more.
The Source, Battersea and Chiswick: Stocks over 500 packaging and plastic free items.
Naked Larder, Herne Hill: Click and collect, plastic free! Order online and take your own containers to go and collect your order.
Harmless, Haringey: Small local plastic free shop with dry goods, household items and toiletries.
Mylk Man, London: Your old fashioned milkman, but with nut milks, delivers straight to your front door in glass bottles.
Borough Wines, Borough Market, Hackney, Hastings, Kensal Rise, Stoke Newington and Turnham Green Terrace: Refills red and white wine and olive oil – not your average zero waste location
Clapton Craft, Clapton, Walthamstow, Kentish Town, Finsbury Park and Forest Hill: Refills beer, for an environmentally friendly pint!
As Nature Intended, Balham, Chiswick, Ealing Green, Marble Arch, Spitalfields and Westfield Stratford: All the packaging free you could ever want: food, dried goods, fruit and veg and soaps and detergents – all as nature intended.
Ecover: The brand Ecover offers plenty of refill stations for their shampoo and detergent all over the UK. Most of the stores that carry the brand also have the opportunity to refill.
Holland & Barret: Many stores have a great Pick n Mix fruit and nut section in their stores!
South East England
Eco Pantry, Kent: Another pop-up shop, this one can be found at farmers’ markets around Kent and stocks dry goods, household items and toiletries.
Bare Bazaar, Ashford, Kent: Although a pop-up shop, Bare Bazaar is becoming a staple around Kent, popping up around farmers’ markets, and with a semi solid shop in Park Mall.
Unboxed, Canterbury: Everything you need to know – no packaging, but everything your heart desires! Just bring your own containers and fill them with dry goods, food and household items.
Bury Whole Foods, Bury, Suffolk: A zero waste delivery service – convenient and green! What’s not to love?
Fill Food, Buckinghamshire: Delivers plastic and packaging free groceries.
Clink, Leigh-On-Sea: No dried goods here – Clink refills liqueurs and spirits.
The Grain Grocer, Margate: Offers a range of products to bring home in your own packaging, and even has a great cafe for a welcome pit stop.
U Weigh, Hythe: Lots of loose dried goods and groceries on hand, and no plastic.
Drink, Folkestone: Another one without dried goods! Drink refills beer.
South West England
Earth.Food.Love, Totnes: Everything dried and household items, packaging free and get this, you can grind your own nut butter.
Loose, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Dried goods, nuts, seeds and fruits, and at Loose, you can even just hand over your shopping list and they’ll weigh it all out and pack it for you.
Waste Not Want Not, Bridport, Dorset: Zero plastic shopping just the way we like it: weigh, fill, weigh again, pay – simple as that.
The Green Weigh, Dorset: Another mobile plastic free shop, The Green Weigh travels to eight different locations, a new place every day and supplies people with plastic free groceries.
Zero Green, Bristol: Plastic free dry goods, household items, toiletries and lots of other great staples like keep cups, straws and other plastic alternatives. Lots of their products are locally sourced.
Incredible Bulk, Cornwall: Another shop on wheels, with the aim to supply smaller towns and communities with plastic free shopping and groceries.
Lesser Litter, Taunton: All the dry goods, cereal, nuts, tea and herbs – without plastic.
Cariad Wholefoods, Dorset: Sources over 90 dry goods, and stocks all your plastic free essentials like keep cups, bags and straws.
Harvest Natural Foods, Bath: All the essentials, dry goods, fruit and veg, and detergent and soaps.
New Leaf Health Foods, Bath: Here you’ll find a range of dry goods, including chocolate – of course.
The Good Earth, Wells: Refills of soaps and detergents, plus fruit and vegetables, all without the plastic.
The Supply Wagon, Bristol: Delivery service of refills of dry goods and other household items – straight to your door.
Scoopaway, Bristol: Carries a large range of loose items, including lots of dried goods and soaps and detergent refills.
Harvest, Bristol: First of all, Harvest has been carrier bag free since they opened in 2008, which is great! Secondly, they have plenty of packaging free dried goods and household items to stock up on.
Wild Oats Natural Foods, Bristol: Loose dry goods and foods, plus shampoo, soap and detergent for refill.
Scoop and Spice, Yatton and Winscombe: Another great place for loose foods and detergent and soap refills. All the plastic free essentials.
Replenish, Weston: Another “has got it all” bulk shop with dry goods, soap and detergents.
Save a Packet, Devon: 230 kinds of unpackaged food – what more do you need to know?
The Real Food Store, Exeter: The Real Food Store has lots of loose items, mostly dried goods.
Nourish, Exeter: Just outside of Exeter, Nourish is a great addition to the UK non-packaging family, expanding the options outside of cities. We’re all for it!
Down to Earth, Dorset: Lots of bulk wholefoods and dried goods on hand.
Wild Thyme Wholefoods, Portsmouth: Large selection of packaging free goods, and also a juice bar and takeaway.
Keep, Farnham: All your packaging free basics, household goods and personal care Bring your own containers to fill to your hearts desire.
Earthkind, Horsham: On the market every Thursday to supply you with plastic free food, toiletries and household items.
The Naked Pantry, New Milton, Hampshire: All the plastic free fresh food, dried goods and skincare.
Waste Not, Brighton: Dried goods for refill and other green living essentials like lunchboxes and bamboo cutlery.
Hisbe, Brighton: How It Should Be – Hisbe! Lots of plastic packaging free fruit, veg and dry goods, and a great selection of vegan, organic and ethically sourced treats.
Down to Earth, Hove: Stocks detergent and shampoo refills.
Charlotte’s Cupboard, Sussex: Packaging free shop on wheels – Charlotte’s Cupboard offers home deliveries and pop up on markets around Sussex.
Downsview Deli & Coffee, West Sussex: Loose dry goods, detergents and soaps – and they are ever increasing their stock of loose items.
Middle Farm, Lewes: Farm shop selling unpackaged fruit and vegetables, but more importantly, a cider barn with drinks available on draught! Now that’s cool.
Waste Not, Burley, Wharfedale: Dry goods, cleaning products and other household items.
Fulfilled, Ramsbottom, Bury: Everything packaging and plastic free – literally everything. They even have plastic free toilet paper.
Unwrapped, Sheffield: Unwrapped has some seriously incredible plastic free items on hand, a large range of vegan and vegetarian items, shampoo bars and even sanitary products.
Waste Not Want Not, Merseyside: This Zero Waste shop employs homeless people to get them back into work.
Jarfull, Harrogate: Your package free online supplier – great place to get your hands on glass jars, cotton bags and bamboo toothbrushes, and get on that zero waste train.
Cut the Wrap, Ulverston, Cumbria: The name says it all! And their slogan is refill not landfill!
Single Step, Lancaster: Nothing trendy about this place – plastic free since 1976, they’re the real deal and source everything from candles to grains and spices.
The Paddock, Tyne and Wear: The Paddock has been plastic free for 7 years and is family run. The Paddock is more than a packaging free shop, with a farm and a veg box scheme.
M20 Refills, Manchester: This zero-waste delivery service delivers household liquids like skincare, cleaning liquids in glass bottles and other zero plastic products, right to your home – or lets you pick up at several locations in Manchester.
Refill, Liverpool: Refill has all your essentials for plastic free shopping in bottles, jars, cups and straws, and also offers loose organic wholefoods in their concession in Windmill Wholefoods.
Fletcher’s Fruit and Veg, Cumbria: A great range of packaging free dry goods, fruit and veg.
Village Greens Community Co-op, prestwich: Organic, lots of locally sourced, plastic free – what more could you want?
Midlands and East England
NADA, Leicester: All the plastic and packaging free items you’ll need – lots of food and household items.
Nature’s Intention, Bromsgrove: Another fully stocked plastic free shop, with dry goods, food, nappies and soap and other household items – and if you forget your jars and bags, the store actually keeps spares.
Bamboo Turtle, Hertfordshire: All the dry foods you could imagine, plus many other household items and toiletries.
Refill Revolution, Market Harborough: Part of the indoor market, Refill Revolution has all the essentials, dry goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries, plastic free.
The Refill Pantry, St. Albans, Hertfordshire: A fully stocked plastic free shop, with lots of dried goods, skincare and other household items.
Dash Vegan, Nottingham: Dash Vegan is actually a vegan supermarket, but you can bring your own containers and fill with tea, herbs, nuts and other dried goods.
Scoop, Oxfordshire: Scoop is a pop-up shop that travels to markets around the region and offers lots of packaging free dried goods, such as nuts, pasta and dried fruit.
The Market Garden, Eynsham, Oxfordshire: The Market Garden produces fruit and veg themselves and has a packaging free shop with dried goods and other household items as well.
SESI Pop Up Shop, East Oxford’s Farmers Markets: SESI is a pop-up shop, that employs students on the weekend farmers markets in East Oxford, and stocks over 100 food and household items, all plastic free.
The Clean Kilo, Birmingham: A full on plastic and packaging free shop in Birmingham – you can bring your own containers or pick from the store’s recycled ones.
Indigo Wholefoods, Birmingham: Offers unpackaged fruit and veg and has detergent and laundry refills in store.
Soundbites, Derby: Whole foods, fruit and vegetables without packaging and detergent refills.
Zero Waste Path, Cambridge: Online shop and zero waste brand carrying all the vegan soaps, shampoos and deodorants, even dog products – homemade and plastic free.
Viva Organic, Cardiff: Everything packaging free: fruit, nuts, grains, soaps and household items
Happy Planet Green Store, Pembrokeshire: Dried goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, toiletries, milk in glass bottles and cleaning supplies – even freshly baked bread.
The Little Pantry, Tenby: Dried goods, local vegetables and lots of household and cleaning refill options.
Natural Weigh, Powys: Organic and local dry goods, soap, nuts, straws and containers – all plastic free!
Ruthin Wholefoods, Ruthin: Dried goods and fruit and vegetables plastic free, and lots of other delicious wholefoods.
New Leaf Co-op, Edinburgh: Sells mainly dry goods, but stocks lots of gluten- and dairy free, and vegan products.
Real Foods, Edinburgh:Sells whole foods and dried goods in bulk.
Locavore, Glasgow: Locavore is a social enterprise that does not only work as a package free shop, but also as a farm and sources locally made bread, local honey, cheese and milk.
Grunting Growler, Glasgow: Refills of beer.
Sea No Waste, Angus: Full on zero waste shop, with everything from food to nappies, plastic free.
Food Story, Aberdeen: Cafe and zero waste shop.
The Green Grocer, Inverurie: Refills herbs, spices and oils.
I.J. Mellis, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews: Not your average refill shop – I.J. Mellis offers a few wines for refill.
Society Zero, Glasgow: Zero waste, plastic free, food and hygiene products – we approve.
Demijohns, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York: Not everyday items, but refills of whiskey, oils and vinegar.
An Ethical Life, Colchester: Refills on household goods and stocks lots of other natural and plant based products.