Here is a list of local packaging-free shops and zero waste projects across the UK.
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.
If you’re starting out on your zero waste journey, I’ve written a guide to what you’ll need, and what not to buy. There’s also How to Go Zero Waste in 5 Steps, How to Reduce Your Plastic Waste Without Going Insane, and 10 Easy Ways to Dramatically Slim Your Bin. For UK-wide shops see here.
Food Story, on Thistle Street in Aberdeen, has dispensers with loose foods where you can bring your own bags and containers.
In Inverurie, The Green Grocer offers refills of herbs, spices and oil.
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.
Brum has the Clean Kilo, a zero waste shop in Digbeth. There is also 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.
Check out the Journey to Zero Waste Birmingham facebook group.
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.
Charlotte’s Cupboard is the UK’s first packaging-free shop on wheels, offering home deliveries around Sussex. They also visit markets, and have a helpful online list of everything they sell.
In Hassocks, Downsview Delicatessen has a range of detergent refills and is increasing it’s range of loose items.
In Horsham, there’s Town and Country Weigh, at 7 East Street, Horsham RH12 1HH, which has a selection is dried goods for refill.
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.
Brighton also a repair cafe
Check out Sussex Green Living, which is full of local information, including repair cafes.
Bristol and North Somerset
Bristol’s Bedminster has Zero Green, a packaging-free store in North Street, BS3. Gloucester Road has several options: Scoopaway, which has an extensive range of loose foods, herbs and spices, and detergent refills, Harvest, a carrier-bag free shop selling a range of foods in dispensers and detergent refills, and will soon have Preserve, opening soon. 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.
The Daily Bread Cooperative does some detergent refills. You can also bring your own containers to fill some goods.
Plumb Dairy deliver milk and juice in returnable bottles. The milk is from local farmers and the delivery is free.
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.
Soundbites sells whole foods in biodegradable packaging, loose fruit and veg and also has a detergent refill scheme. Ask for more info.
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 to bring their own bags. In Topsham, just outside Exeter, there’s a zero waste shop called Nourish selling a range of unpackaged goods.
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.
Waste Not Want Not in Bridport sells organic wholefoods, detergent and personal care refills and has an expanding Zero Waste home and care lifestyle range. Very shortly, a mobile Zero Waste service will be available called ‘Zero Waste Nomad,’ using an electric van.
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.
Zero Waste Path do handmade, vegan, palm-oil free solid soaps, shampoos and deodorants.
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.
Society Zero is a zero waste and package-free shop selling food and hygiene products.
Locavore on Victoria Road has a range of loose organic grains, pulses, flours, herbs & spices and well as fruit and veg.
The Green Place does refills of soap and shampoo.
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.
Check out the Journey to Zero Waste in Herefordshire facebook group.
Fodder does loose spices and detergent refills.
In Letchworth Garden City, Bamboo Turtle is a zero waste shop which has a useful list of everything it sells on it’s website.
St Albans will soon have the Refill Pantry which will offer things like pasta, rice, lentils, cereals, nuts, chocolates, and snacks.
In St Albans, Eat Wholefoods open their warehouse on Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays for customers to refill their own containers.
The Emporium of Worldly Goods in Fort William offers a selection of zero waste toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner refills, sanitary products, eco-toothbrushes, and packaging-free soaps. They also do recycled fair trade crafts, a free book exchange and will soon stock a small selection of loose dried fruits and nuts. BYou can bring your own receptacles or purchase reusable bags/bottles at the shop, which are made from recycled materials.
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
In Canterbury, Unboxed Kent is an packaging-free shop.
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.
Leicester will get its own zero waste shop this summer.
Refill Revolution is monthly pop up in Market Harborough.
Market Harborough has Nature’s Pantry, which sells a range of bulk unpackaged items like nuts, grains – bring your own containers to refill.
Wonky Veg Boxes do home deliveries of fruit and veg that would otherwise have been thrown away due to not looking good enough. They deliver throughout Leicestershire.
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.
Harrogate will soon have Jarfull, which will offer a delivery service as well as a packing-free shop.
Burley has Waste Not, currently running as a pop up, but opening permanently in June. It sells dried food, liquid refills, spices and other zero waste products.
Malton has Scoops, which has a good range of bulk bins, but check first whether you can bring your own bags and containers.
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, while York Student Food Co-op has a scoop section. The city has a Demijohn’s liquid refill shop (although you need to buy one of their own bottles).
In Cleethorpes and Louth, Spill The Beans sells loose cereals, flour, sweets, dried fruits, baking supplies, and other stuff. You can bring your own bags and containers.
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
Birkenhead Market will soon have a zero waste shop. Waste Not Want Not is a social enterprise which will offer employment to homeless people.
In Merseyside, Cake Creations in Wallasey has a bulk bin section. 216, Liscard Rd, CH44 5TN.
In the Wirral and Warrington, Blooming Eco sell eco friendly cleaning products in returnable bottles.
There is also a facebook group, Zero Waste North West.
Reyouzable deliver refills of bulk foods, including pasta, rice and coffee, to various postcodes across London.
Also, check out the wonderful Oddbox, who will deliver wonky fruit and veg that would otherwise have gone to waste.
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.
Bulkmarket is a packaging-free supermarket currently crowdfunding to open a new store.
Balham: As Nature Intended has dispensers with loose foods, as well as unpackaged fruit and veg. (PLEASE NOTE: this store will be closed from 14th December 2017 for 10 months due to refurbishments)
Battersea: Hetu is a vegan zero waste store offering a range of unpackaged, vegan, zero waste goods.
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.
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.
Finsbury Park: Arsenal Food and Wine, 68B Blackstock Road, sells some unpackaged goods and detergent refills.
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.
Herne Hill: the Naked Larder is a bulk food buying group for south Londoners, where you can buy dry goods and eco friendly cleaning products to refill.
Hoxton: Save the Date London is a pay as you feel market selling surplus produce collected from across London.
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.
Another zero waste shop for London is currently being crowdfunded.
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, and is also available at various stockists across London. See website for more details.
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.
UGO Fresh is an app connecting you with London based shops and cafes that are selling surplus food.
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.
In Walthamstow, The Forest Recycling Project collects things like leftover paint, DIY materials, fabric and paper for recycling. It also organises giveaways and ‘give and take’ days.
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.
Remakery in Brixton is a co-operative workshop using waste materials to create products, art and enterprises.
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.
In Bolton, A Small Good Thing sells unpackaged fruit and veg and an expanding bulk section.
Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire
My Refill Market is a zero waste stall that can be found at markets around Milton Keynes. There is a handy list of everything it sells on its facebook page.
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.
The Nottingham Zero Waste Collective are a group working together to bring zero waste food shopping to Nottingham.
Northampton Market has a zero packaging ‘Scoop and Save’ herbs seeds and spices stall very Tuesday and Wednesday.
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
Oxford Farmer’s Market has SESI, where you can refill food and household products every Saturday.
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.
North Aston Dairy does milk and yogurt in returnable bottles.
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.
In Wallingford, Just Trading has a range of detergent and Faith in Nature refills, as well as loose goods to buy in your own containers.
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.
Around Portsmouth, there’s Pantry Weigh, on Emsworth High Street, which has a good range of loose foods.
In Gosport, there’s Paula’s Vegan Bakery, which has some bulk items as well as loose fruit, veg and bread. This shop is aiming to go waste-free and encourages customers to bring their own bags and containers to fill.
True Food Co-op in Emmer Green has a helpful list of all the loose foods they sell. They also do detergent refills.
Watch this space for a vegan zero waste shop, due to open in 2018.
Down to Earth at 406 Sharrowvale Road has loose grains, pulses and cereals and detergent refills.
Sheffield Student’s Union has it’s own zero waste shop.
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 foods, deli items and Ecover refills.
Taste Not Waste is a Telford organisation that saves food that would otherwise go to landfill.
Keep Old Containers are a zero-waste personal care and household products market stall in Godalming.
The Riceup Co-op has a good range of loose foods in dispensers.
Wales will get its first zero waste shop opening in Powys in March 2018. Natural Weigh will offer 160 different plastic-free products.
In Caerphilly, Plant 2 Plate Catering sells loose spices.
In North Wales Ruthin Wholefoods offers packaging-free snacks, fruit and veg, and refills of detergents, while Health and Food in Conwy Valley offer a wide range of loose herbs and spices, refills of household products, local yoghurt in returnable glass jars, loose unwrapped soaps, and locally grown vegboxes in returnable boxes. They hope to have more bulk products in dispensers, such as cereals, nuts, and dried fruit soon.
La vida verde in Llandrindod Wells is a low-waste, low plastic shop that does refills of vinegars, spices, milk, eggs and more. Also has a cafe next door run on zero waste principles.
Monmouthshire Upcycle have an eco store selling refills of detergents, bamboo toothbrushes and soap bars, as well as second hand goods.
Macynlleth has a repair cafe.
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).
Refill.Able is a plastic-free wholefoods refill service.