I have a confession. Before getting real about sustainable living, I used to buy things in plastic packaging and empty them into jars, just because they looked nicer. In fairness, I didn’t know you could buy things any other way. I think I’m doing it right now :-)


supermarket PASTA

I’m going to try and ignore the annoying plastic window on this Barilla boxed pasta (who doesn’t know what pasta looks like) and be happy that it means much less plastic, and that it’s easy(ish) to find.

Tesco and Ocado both stock it, as does Amazon (although, buyer beware, when I ordered it as part of an Amazon Fresh delivery, I got the most ridiculous amount of those plastic air-bags in the box - more than if I’d bought the plastic-free things not plastic-free, if that makes any sense).

Some of the De Cecco pasta also comes in boxes, so keep your eyes-peeled for that too.


bulk stores

I’m not sure what this says about me, but my bi-weekly trips to my favourite BYO bulk store in Nunhead - called - um - BYO - have become one of life’s small pleasures.

Maybe, as someone who’s become conscious about every single thing I buy, it’s because it’s the only place I can now get a little shopping fix without feeling crushing environmental guilt (it’s A Thing apparently).

Or, maybe it’s because it’s just good to be more up-close-and-personal with ingredients.

Whatever it is, it’s a lovely way to shop. And one that I’m very grateful I can do easily do in my little corner of London.

Check our the brilliant The Zero Waster blog for a list of UK-based un-packaged goods places.


un-packaged online

Don’t have a BYO bulk store nearby?

No problemo!

I’ve found two online sources that will post your goodies in compostable paper bags, anywhere in the UK.

Zero-Waste-Club and the Plastic-Free-Pantry both have a really good selection of food things to order by weight. I’ve bought a random selection of things in the past - nuts, bicarbonate of soda, drinking chocolate, coffee beans, dried tofu (don’t do this) and muesli. It’s really lazy, but, hey, what of it.



We have so many cans of food at home that you’d think something think bad was about to happen.

Aluminium is one of the most easily recycled and resource efficient materials. Being relatively light, it’s also has a lighter carbon footprint than glass. One thing to watch out for, many cans have a plastic lining that contains BPA, which is a known hormone disrupter, linked to endocrine problems and even cancer. The jury is out, but it’s worthing looking out for brands that carry a BPA-free logo (Biona, Suma & Mr Organic all do). Or, if all you see inside the can is, well, can, not a layer of white film, then it’s all good.


big big bags

This might seem like a silly suggestion, but, if you can’t easily get bulk foods, then you can reduce your plastic waste (and save money) simply by buying bigger bags.

The bigger the bag, the less plastic used.

Never feel that the little things aren’t worth doing.

Every small action adds up over time.


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