These are some of the pioneering plastic-free stores in Ireland and the UK

In a major move for a big supermarket, if you happen to be at the Waitrose in Oxford, you’ll be able to fill up your own containers with everything from pasta to washing up liquid.

This comes as part of a trial, which Waitrose & Partners says has the potential to save on thousands of tonnes of unnecessary plastic and packaging.

The scheme is being trialled in the Botley Road Waitrose (Waitrose & Partners/PA)
The scheme is being trialled in the Botley Road Waitrose (Waitrose & Partners/PA)

Even if you’re the kind of person who always has their reusable water bottle to hand and would never dream of being without your fabric tote, supermarkets remain tough places to be conscious of your plastic use. Sometimes, it seems like everything is wrapped with unnecessary layers of plastic, and it’s not always possible (in terms of both money and ease) to find a more eco-friendly alternative.

That’s why it’s such a big step for Waitrose, and hopefully one which begins the long road to all supermarkets seriously reducing their plastic use. Even though it’s one of the first major stores to trial something like this, it’s by no means a pioneer in the world of plastic-free shopping. Here are some of the trailblazing shops from around Ireland and the UK…

Twig Refill Shop, Cork

You can find Twig in Clonakilty, County Cork. If you bring your own containers, you can fill up on everything from grains to nuts and olive oils, as well as chemical-free household cleaning products and skincare.

And not to worry if you forget your own containers, because you can buy glass jars and reusable bags there – with no unnecessary single-use plastic in sight.


Brighton is home to one of the leading zero-waste shops, aptly called Wastenot. Here, you can buy fruit, veg, store-cupboard products and pretty much whatever you might want, without it being sheathed in plastic.

It also has a zero waste blog, which is a handy read if you’re trying to cut unnecessary plastic out of your day-to-day life.

Earth, Food, Love, Devon

This store is based in Totnes, South Devon, and aims to be entirely zero waste. Here, you can buy all manner of foods, as well as household and beauty products.

As well as being good for the environment, you may also save money – as with many of these shops, you pour out however much of the product you want, rather than buying a whole lot that you don’t end up using.

Planet Organic, London

Various Planet Organic stores around London take part in the Unpackaged scheme, meaning you can take your own pots and fill up with loose products, like grains and moisturisers (but probably not the two together). It’s only in four shops at the moment, but considering how public awareness around the issue of plastic is rapidly increasing, it’s highly likely the scheme will expand further.

- Press Association

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