ZERO Waste Shop

What Is A Zero Waste Shop?

Single use plastic is accelerating the climate crisis and having a devastating effect on ecosystems and wildlife across the globe. Yet if we all do our part by reducing the pressure we put on the planet, our small contributions add up.

That’s the ethos behind our plastic-free zero waste shop. Less packaging, no plastic, ethically sourced and thoughtfully priced - across the whole supply chain.

 

The ZERO waste shop is based primarily on the refill system - you bring in your own containers and fill them with our excellent quality products.

Refill-based shopping provides better value whilst protecting the ecosystems that support us, as well as providing numerous benefits:

  • No food wrapping entering the environment

  • No microplastics entering the food chain

  • Only buy what you'll eat - thereby reducing food waste emissions 

  • Food lasts longer in your airtight containers than in shop packaging

  • You're not paying for the packaging

  • It's fun! 


Zero-waste shopping can help us change our mindset and make us more conscious about how the choices we make affect the planet and other communities – there is a better way, and it’s right here in Guildford. 

What Do We Sell at ZERO?

We try to source stock with the lowest environmental impact available. The ZERO refill shop is all vegan, and we sell everything from food to cleaning products to personal hygiene.

 

  • Healthy kitchen: We sell the building blocks for many nutritious meals – pulses, beans, spices and pasta. Add some fresh veg, and you have a truly healthy kitchen and brain fuel to help you figure out your next move to help the planet! We also have some fantastic cooks at ZERO, and we’ll be sharing some great recipes for you to try. We have a range of basics and kitchen staples, to help create a meal for under £5. 

 

  • Toiletries: We have a fantastic range of toiletries from local makers in fully recyclable packaging. We stock fully biodegradable deodorant, to help tackle the horrifying 650 million aerosol cans that find their way into our oceans and ecosystems every year!

 

  • Cleaning products: Ethical, environmentally friendly cleaning products in plastic-free packaging. From laundry to washing dishes to cleaning the house, we have a range of products for the ethical shopper.
     

  • We even have vegan sweets! Old fashioned pick and mix to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

We do our best to stock organic and gluten free products, and we welcome suggestions from customers on what to stock. 

 

Plastic pollution isn't the only food-related driver of the climate crisis. Food waste across the supply chain contributes a staggering 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity. As part of ZERO's 'Reducing Our Impact' solutions we also have our new Community Fridge, to help cut food waste from local supermarkets and support everyone in the community at the same time.

 

PS: While you’re shopping, you can recycle tricky items like soft plastic packaging, baby food pouches, and other items not commonly picked up by roadside recycling. Just head over to our Terracycle station at the back of ZERO.

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Why Zero Waste Shopping Can Tackle The Plastic Crisis

We’re at a tipping point with plastic use. For decades plastic has been a convenience that the average consumer didn’t really consider. “Single-use” plastic became a normal part of grocery shopping. This needs to change, urgently.

 

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C degrees.*

  • The greenhouse gas emissions from plastic could reach over 56 gigatons. That’s 10-13 per cent of the entire remaining carbon budget. 

  • Ocean plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea.**

90% of pollution from the plastic industry occurs in just 18 communities, largely in the global south. But the impact of plastic use -  especially where plastics end up - is far wider reaching, touching every corner of the globe, even Antarctica.

Plastic has entered the food chain, with many animals unable to identify that what they are eating is not food. Micro levels of plastic ingestion can cause abnormal and detrimental behaviour, whilst in other cases, the feeling of fullness results in the animal not seeking food, and dying. Plastic waste also traps and kills a vast number of creatures, with fishing equipment being by far the largest plastic killer of marine life. The headlines might bang on about plastic straws, but if you care about the plastic pollution crisis then one of the most significant changes you can make is to stop eating fish.

We can help. We can all help
 

A problem as big as the plastic pollution crisis requires a complex approach. But there are 2 things we can all do to help. First, we need to stop buying so much plastic. Find a zero waste shop near you and take the first step in a low impact lifestyle. 

 

Secondly, support the development of circular economy initiatives that turn waste plastic into something useful. There are already some fantastic initiatives being created by people who care, and using your wallet to stop funding needless single use plastic production, whilst supporting the re-use and repurposing of old plastics is everyday activism anyone can take part in. 


Changing our behaviour and buying habits is a good first step that absolutely everyone in the UK can take.

What Does This Project Achieve? 

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Waste Reduction 

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Emissions Reduction 

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Clean Oceans 

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What's In Our Zero Waste Shop?

  • Staples: White rice, brown rice, Arborio rice, red rice white pasta, whole wheat pasta, GF pasta, orzo, corn & rice penne, cous cous, wholemeal cous cous, British Quinoa

  • Nuts & Seeds: walnuts, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, flax, pumpkin seeds, hazlenuts

  • Herbs & Spices: Paprika, smoked paprika, ginger, curry, garam masala, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, sage, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, tons more

  • Breakfast: Jumbo oats, GF rolled oats, Bran Flakes, Deluxe Muesli 

  • Snacks: popcorn kernels, bombay mix, plain crisps, parsnip crisps, wasabi peas, fava beans 

  • Sweets: vegan pick n mix, fudge, Turkish Delight. Brownie mix, cookie mix.

  • Oils & vinegars: Olive oil, soy sauce, cyder vinegar, rapeseed oil, maple syrup

  • Dried fruit: apricots, raisins & sultanas, banana chips, mango, medjoul dates, cranberries

  • Cleaning products: soap, deodorant, shampoo, safety razors, laundry detergent, cleaning vinegars, loo roll, washing up liquid, fabric softener

  • And loads more!

What Problem Is This Addressing?

The convenience of our consumerist lifestyles mean that we don't give a second thought to the impact of our choices. 

But plastic pollution and food waste are driving the climate and ecological crisis. 

Refill shopping allows shoppers to buy the quantities that they need, cutting food waste and packaging at the same time. It drives behavioural change by highlighting the unnecessary packaging and food miles of the items that end up on our plate. 

And importantly, zero waste shopping is an easy step that every signle one of us can take to lower our environmental impact, which doesn't cost more than the destructive alternative.