Aug 31, 2017

Supermarket shuns packaging but is it the reality?

Words by Bruce Bratley

This week saw the launch of the UK’s first zero waste supermarket, Earth.Food.Love.

The store, which has opened in Devon, has banned packaging completely and offers a range of organic products stored in dispensers. Customers take their own pots and jars to fill up. Everything from household cleaning solutions to nuts are available to measure out. The idea is that the store is sustainable and ethical, with the owners encouraging customers to reuse and recycle.

With Zero Waste Week taking place next week, this is a time for businesses to think about the waste they’re producing and see where this could be reduced. The zero waste supermarket sets a fantastic example but the reality is this store is one of a kind at the moment. As a result, when businesses can’t help but produce waste, they need to do the best they can with it, and this is where recycling makes a huge difference.

It’s important to take the issue of waste beyond supermarkets; every business produces waste. For example, many businesses believe it’s only restaurants and supermarkets producing food waste. However even if you’re just making a hot drink in the office those are incremental items that can be recycled. The average office worker spends £350 a year on tea; if every business just in London took action to recycle all of those used tea bags that would have a huge impact.

Businesses need to realise the importance of promoting recyclable products and decreasing waste, not just for the environment, but for the benefit of their own pockets. Recycling makes business sense. It encourages employees to feel more motivated at work and according to Mintel, there is a huge number of ethically-minded consumers and employees to tap into: “consumers often voice green or ethical sentiments”.

One day we’d like to see every business operating like the zero waste supermarket. We’ll continue to ensure our services are convenient and flexible to enable companies to recycle everything and close the loop.

By Bruce Bratley

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