Here is a list of local packaging-free shops and zero waste projects across the UK.
(For UK-wide zero waste shops and resources, see here).
There are many shops throughout the UK that will allow you refill your own bags and containers, saving on food and packaging waste, but they are mostly pretty shy and won’t shout about what they do. So The ZeroWaster has done the hard work for you, and presents you with this guide. Just bring your own bags or containers, and fill with as much or as little as you need. Call first if you’re looking for something specific.
You can also check out Bea Johnson’s bulkfinder, this map, or the Plastic is Rubbish Directory, which have more details of local shops like greengrocers, bakers, and tea and coffee merchants which sell unpackaged goods. This map has details of packaging-free shops across Western Europe.
Food Story, on Thistle Street, has dispensers with loose foods where you can bring your own bags and containers.
Bath and Somerset
Harvest Natural Foods on Walcot Street in Bath do a range of loose grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits as well as unpackaged fruit and veg. They also do laundry liquid and washing up liquid refills.
New Leaf Health Foods has a range of goods in bulk, including cereals and chocolate.
Also in Bath, check out this detailed blog post about local zero waste shopping, and Love Tap Water, the campaign to bring drinking fountains to the city. Also, look up Ecojam, a website with a focus on green and ethical living in Bath and Bristol.
In Wells, The Good Earth offers refills of detergents and shampoo, as well as unpackaged fruit and veg.
Check out this blog post on zero waste shopping in Leighton Buzzard.
Considering it’s size, Brum is short on zero waste shopping options. There is Indigo Wholefoods in Moseley who do household detergent refills and unpackaged fruit and veg, and Purely Vegan in King’s Heath who have a scoop and fill section.
Brighton, Hove and Sussex
Hisbe (How It Should Be) supermarket have a good range of loose foods in dispensers and detergent refills.
The Foodshed Co-op, which kitted out it’s premises with found materials, has a large range of loose goods and offer a discount if you bring your own containers to refill.
Down to Earth in Hove has detergent refills, including shampoo.
Brighton is also home to the UK’s first zero waste restaurant, Silo.
Also check out The Green Centre, an amazing resource who run a second hand market to prevent stuff ending up in landfill, and have a stall at Brighton Market on Thursdays where you can drop off hard to recycle items to raise money for charity.
Middle Farm, not far from Lewes has a cider barn with a range of drinks available on draught. You can bring your own bottles or use one of their returnable kegs. Also has a farm shop selling unpackaged fruit and veg.
There’s also a repair cafe.
Also check out the Zero Waste Vegans Brighton Facebook group.
Bristol and North Somerset
Gloucester Road has Scoopaway, which has an extensive range of loose foods, herbs and spices, and detergent refills, and Harvest, a carrier-bag free shop selling a range of foods in dispensers and detergent refills. Wild Oats Natural Foods on Lower Redland Road also have a range of loose foods and refills of detergents, shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.
In North Somerset, Scoop and Spice offer a large range of of loose foods and detergent refills. They have branches in Yatton and Winscombe.
In Weston-Super-Mare, Replenish invites customers to bring their own containers to shop packaging-free. Has bulk bins and detergent refills.
Bristol is also home to Refill Bristol, a scheme aiming to reduce plastic bottle waste by allowing you to refill your own bottle at around 200 designated refill stations across the city.
Ecojam is a green and ethical living website with a focus on Bristol and Bath.
Local reuse projects include Bristol ReUse Network, which includes organisations that re-use unwanted fabrics, baby clothes, IT equipment, bikes, wood and more, and The North Somerset Reuse Project, which aims to prevent useful items going to landfill – you can even drop off half full pots of paint. They are also linked to the North Somerset Nappy Alliance.
Arjuna Wholefoods has loose herbs and spices, unpackaged bread, fruit and veg, and detergent refills.
Plumb Dairy deliver milk and juice in returnable bottles. The milk is from local farmers and the delivery is free.
Whole Foods have a range of bulk bins selling cereals, muesli, nuts, dried fruit, pulses, legumes, rice, couscous, and spices, although perhaps it’s star feature is it’s wine, beer and cider refill station.
Coventry Market sells unpackaged fruit, veg, grains and nuts. This student blog has more.
Fletchers Fruit and Veg in Grange Over Sands have a good range of loose foods (including sweets), fruit, veg and detergent refills.
Kendal People’s Cafe serves up rescued food.
Devon and Cornwall
Totnes is home to zero waste shop Earth Food Love, which has an impressive range of loose foods, detergent refills, bamboo toothbrushes and other zero waste items.
Save a Packet in Kingsbridge has over 230 kinds of unpackaged foods, and even has a handy list of them all on it’s website.
In Exeter, The Real Food Store has a range of loose foods in dispensers, such as oats, rice, pasta, dried beans, pulses, and cereals and encourage customers
Penzance has The Weigh Inn on Causewayhead, which has a good range of bulk bins. They are happy for you to bring your own containers to refill. Also check out the Plastic Free Penzance community on facebook.
Down to Earth in Dorchester is an independent health food shop established in 1978. It aims to reduce waste and sells bulk wholefoods and detergent refills. According to their website, the service comes with a smile.
Cariad Wholefoods in Blandford Forum is run by a committed zero waster and sells unpackaged wholefoods, herbs, spices, locally grown organic veg, a cleaning products refill station, zero waste toiletries and toothpaste plus things like candles, bamboo coffee cups and toothbrushes and reusable straws.
Soundbites sells whole foods in biodegradable packaging, loose fruit and veg and also has a detergent refill scheme. Ask for more info.
Dunbar was Scotland’s first zero waste town, and has this website full of resources about local zero waste living.
The New Leaf Co-op describes itself as ‘Edinburgh’s local, unpackaged, scoop your own, nut-grinding, organic, worker-run box of delights!’ It has a superb range of loose foods, including pasta and baking products like chocolate chips, and refills of oils, vinegars and detergent refills, including liquid soap. You can even bring a jar and grind your own nut spread.
Real Foods has two shops in Edinburgh which sells wholefoods, such as cereals, in bulk. The website has a store locator.
Demijohn’s does refills of liquids like whisky, oils, and vinegars (although you need to buy one of their bottles).
Edinburgh Farmer’s Market, on Castle Terrace, has unpackaged fruit and veg, as well as lovely handmade soaps, and Edinburgh Natural Skincare in the Royal Mile Market sell solid shampoos and moisturisers.
I J Mellis, who have several stores in Edinburgh, offer a choice of wine refills and also unpackaged eggs. Perhaps if you ask nicely they will also serve you cheese in your own packaging.
For second- hand stuff, charity shops are clustered around Nicolson Street, while Armstrong Vintage have an amazing range of clothes and accessories at outlets across Edinburgh.
Also check out the Edinburgh Remakery, an award-winning project where you can donate stuff, learn to fix it, or buy second-hand goods including refurbished computers.
Leigh-on-Sea has Clink, where you can refill liqueurs and spirits.
Harvest Co-op on Pollokshaws Road has a large range of loose goods in bulk bins and encourages customers to bring their own containers to refill.
Locavore on Nithsdale Road has a range of loose organic grains, pulses, flours, herbs & spices and well as fruit and veg.
Glasgow is well blessed for drinks refills. Vino Valentino on Chancellor Street has a selection of wine refills, Demijohn’s does refills of liquids like whisky, oils, and vinegars (although you need to buy one of their bottles), and Grunting Growler does refills of beer.
Fodder does loose spices and detergent refills.
Check out the Zero Waste Jersey facebook page.
In Margate, The Grain Grocer has a good range of carefully sourced products available to buy in your own packaging, and the website includes a list of them. They also serve delicious zero waste food, in a delightful cafe furnished with reused and upcycled stuff
Also check out the Plastic Free Thanet Facebook page.
U Weigh in Hythe near Folkestone has an extensive range of unpackaged loose foods.
Drink Folkestone on the Old High Street do beer refills, and are happy for you to fill your own bottle.
Single Step Whole Foods on Penny Street has a wide range of loose foods, unpackaged fruit and veg, and detergent refills including shampoo.
Leeds and Yorkshire
Leeds is home to the UK’s first food waste supermarket, which diverts surplus food from supermarkets which was heading for landfill and sells it on a pay as you feel basis. This facebook page has more information.
Kirkgate Market is recommended for plastic-free shopping, and The Nutshop in particular gets glowing reviews from local zero wasters. They sell bulk nuts, lentils, oats, spices, chia seeds, quinoa and more. They are happy for you to fill your own containers.
Leeds also has a repair cafe.
Keelham Farm Shop, has loose foods in dispensers and unpackaged fruit and veg. It has two sites, one in Skipton and one situated between Bradford and Halifax.
In York, Alligator Wholefoods has bulk bins of loose foods as well as detergent refills and unpackaged fruit and veg. York has a Demijohn’s liquid refill shop (although you need to buy one of their own bottles).
In Cleethorpes, Spill The Beans sells loose cereals, flour, sweets, dried fruits, baking supplies, and other stuff. You can bring your own bags, if you are willing to pay for the weight of your bag, but not jars.
In Hull, Alans Naturally (9 South St, Hull HU1 3QG) is good for loose nuts, rice, lentils, and herbs.
Plastic is Rubbish in run by a Yorkshire-based couple, so their site has more detail about packaging-free shopping in the region, especially Huddersfield and Todmorden.
There is a zero waste facebook group for Yorkshire.
Liverpool and the North West
In Merseyside, Cake Creations in Wallasey has a bulk bin section. 216, Liscard Rd, CH44 5TN.
In the Wirral, Blooming Eco sell eco friendly cleaning products in returnable bottles.
There is also a facebook group, Zero Waste North West.
Keep an eye out for Hetu, a vegan zero waste store that will be opening soon, address TBC.
Percy Ingle is a London-wide bakers who do good bread, cakes and pastries cheaper than your local artisan bakers, and they are usually happy to serve you in your own bag.
Balham: As Nature Intended has dispensers with loose foods, as well as unpackaged fruit and veg.
Chiswick: also has a branch of As Nature Intended selling loose foods.
Crystal Palace: The Store Cupboard has a range of loose foods and offers a discount to anyone bringing their own containers. Open on Saturdays, 10-3.
Dalston: Bulkmarket is a packaging-free supermarket at 494 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE.
Ealing: As Nature Intended sells loose foods.
Elephant and Castle: FareShares is a vegan food co-op with bins of loose foods, fruit and veg, and unpackaged washing powder. You can bring your own bag or reuse some of the plastic bags donated to the shop, and I think they may offer discounts to customers who arrive on a bike. They are open 3 days a week, so check the website before you head out.
Harringay: Kofali Hot Nuts on Green Lanes has bulk bins full of nuts, dried fruit and sweets. They are happy for you to use your own containers.
Kensington: Whole Foods has a good range of loose grains, cereals, nuts, teas and coffee. It also does unpackaged fruit and veg.
Kentish Town: Earth Natural Stores has a range of loose grains, herbs, spices, nuts, and teas and coffees. It also does detergent refills, including shampoo, and unpackaged fruit and veg. It recently featured in this Sky News report on zero waste shopping. NOTE: this store is happy to serve you in your own bags, but has currently has no system for weighing tares, so is unable to serve you into your own containers. Also check out Bumblebee Natural Foods on Brecknock Road, which has bins of unpackaged nuts and seeds.
London Fields: E5 Bakehouse has a range of bulk goods, such as oats, dried beans, nuts, seeds, and sugar. They also do unpackaged bread.
Marble Arch: As Nature Intended on Edgware Road has loose foods, unpackaged coffee and fruit and veg.
Muswell Hill: Unpackaged has a good range of loose foods, including chocolate, and detergent refills. It has a handy list of it’s products on the website.
Shoreditch: As Nature Intended has loose foods in dispensers including rice, snacks, and nuts. It also does unpackaged coffee, fruit and veg, and detergent refills.
Walthamstow: The Veg Hut has a loose foods and detergent refill section as well as fruit and veg.
Also check out this blog post by Kate Arnell on zero waste shopping in London.
Across London, Borough Wines sell refills of red and white wines and olive oil (also look out for their franchises in local shops).
LeChevalier in Bermondsey does wine refills.
For beer refills, Clapton Craft has branches at various locations across London.
For cow’s milk, Parker Dairies deliver pasteurised cow’s milk and fruit juice in returnable bottles. Look out for Hook and Son who do organic cow-friendly raw milk in glass bottle refills at many London markets, or check whether they deliver to your area.
Bulk Market do refills of both cow’s milk and plant milk.
For nut milks, Mylk Man will deliver in returnable glass bottles to East London, brought to you by bike.
Other Food and Drink
The Tiny Leaf is London’s first zero waste restaurant. It serves surplus organic vegetarian food, with cocktails.
Nine Lives in Borough does zero waste cocktails.
Also check out The Real Junk Food Project London.
Also look up
The Library of Things in South East London allows you to borrow stuff, like DIY tools, vacuum cleaners, baking trays, gardening kit, tents………a genius idea.
The Restart Project is a ‘social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer in order to reduce waste.’ It helps people learn to repair their own electronics at restart parties across the city.
There’s also a zero waste life meetup group, a minimalists group, and a Plastic Free London facebook group, and a Zero Waste Initiative London . There also a North West London Zero Waste group. You can sign up to receive the Mayor of London’s environmental newsletter here.
There’s the Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton, Manchester, which sells lost of unpackaged fruit and veg and staples in ‘degradable’ packaging (ask for more info).
Also check out Emerge in Manchester, a company that provides sustainable waste management. As well as recycling and waste collections it is also involved in collecting unwanted wood and redistributing surplus food to social projects.
Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire
Forest and Folk is a zero waste refill shop at the Milton Keynes Arts Centre. It is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and has a helpful list of it’s products.
Udderly Fresh Raw Milk in Winslow does refills of raw milk from a vending machine on the farm.
Newcastle and North East
Newcastle’s Grainger Market is definitely worth checking out. It has bulk bins with a range of loose foods available to buy in your own packaging. Almonds and Raisins Health Foods is also worth checking out for naked soaps and other bits, while Mrs Pumphrey’s Curious Leaves Tea Bar has a range of loose teas and coffees and is happy to serve you in your containers. Nearby on Clayton Street Far Place Vegan Store also has a few bits.
For second hand clothes, there is a large Oxfam on Percy Street and Clayton Street has loads of charity shops. Grainger Market has The Yesterday Society vintage clothes shop and also holds a vintage, collectables and bric a brac fair on the third Saturday of every month.
In Durham, the ReFUSE pop-up cafe serves up surplus food.
Consett Weigh and Save, on Wesley Street, has some unpackaged goods.
The Paddock, a smallholding on the border of Northumberland and Gateshead, sells local produce and aims for zero waste. It does veg boxes and organic milk deliveries in bottles with a deposit return scheme.
Tracing Green, a website on sustainable living in the North East, is definitely worth checking out.
Gradually Getting Greener is a facebook group with a focus on the North East.
Norwich and Norfolk
The Green Grocers in Norwich have dispensers with loose foods such as pulses, nuts & seeds, and they encourage customers to bring their own containers to refill. They also do household detergent refills.
Tofurei do soya milk to take away in reusable bottles, or soya beans loose.
The Green Parrot in Swaffam do some household refills, and at the time of writing are considering expanding their range of zero waste products. Watch this space.
Oxford and Oxfordshire
Also in Oxford check out Objects of Use on Market Street, a store which opposes ‘throwawayism’ by selling quality products that are designed to last, Cardew’s, which sell a range of unpackaged teas and coffees, and Demijohn’s, a liquid deli where you can get refills of alcoholic drinks, oils and vinegars.
The Oxford Circular Collective is a group of volunteer cyclists who ‘collect household goods, donate to reuse groups, and implement a local circular economy.’
For university students, check out the Oxford Waste Society.
Henley-on-Thames has The Willow Basket, where you can bring your own jars to stock up on grains, cereals, nuts, muesli, herbs and spices.
Highland Health Store, on St John Street in Perth, sells refills of herbs, spices and detergents.
Zero Waste Highland Perthshire is a facebook group worth checking out, aiming to help the local community send less waste to landfill.
Pantry Weigh, on Emsworth High Street, has a good range of loose foods.
True Food Co-op in Emmer Green has a helpful list of all the loose foods they sell. They also do detergent refills.
Down to Earth at 406 Sharrowvale Road has loose grains, pulses and cereals and detergent refills.
Just Natural in Crookes sell loose dried fruits, nuts and snacks, fruit and veg, and local eggs to fill your own container.
Value Foods in Crystal Peaks Market has loose produce such as fruit, nuts and cereals.
Beeches of Walkley does detergent refills as well as a variety of loose frozen foods.
Sheffield has many surplus food projects including Food Hall, a ‘Pay as You Feel’ dining room and freecycling food network. It’s premises are constructed with reclaimed and salvaged wood to reduce waste. Check out The Real Junk Food Project for more information about local food surplus cafes.
In Shrewsbury, Snapdragon Wholefoods in the Market Hall has some loose goods and refills of detergents.
In Ludlow, The Broad Bean has a range of unpackaged loose goods.
Hawkestone Abbey Farm, near Whitchurch, has a milk vending machine where you can refill your own bottles with raw milk.
The Riceup Co-op has a good range of loose foods in dispensers.
Green Ginger Health Foods in Corsham has refills of toiletries and laundry products, and some loose nuts and seeds.
Goodfayre in Salsbury aims for zero waste and is also mainly vegan. They include a helpful list on the website of some of the unpackaged groceries they sell.
A The Radnor Arms pub in Nunton, near Salisbury, has a milk vending machine where you can refill your own bottles (or buy one from the machine).