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Unpackaged store Locavore helps shoppers reduce plastic

Everything from locally-made herbal shampoo, to a dazzling array of herbs for cooking, is available at Locavore, an innovative new ‘super’ market in Glasgow’s Southside – the difference is, customers can come in and buy these items without also picking up the guilt of getting single-use packaging.

The wide range of ‘fill your own’ plastic-free shopping – even including milk for sale in refillable glass bottles – is now available in the brand-new store in Victoria Road, thanks to £100,000 funding from Zero Waste Scotland – supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

The store’s wares also include pulses, nuts, grains, oil and vinegar, all types of household cleaning products, and even snacks like popcorn. The range is already attracting three times as many customers in the first few weeks of trading as store managers expected.

“I’m very excited that the bigger and better Locavore, in new premises, is now open offering a wide range of food, household products and more that can be refilled in store.  I’m grateful to our funders, including Zero Waste Scotland, whose support has enabled us to include such a wide range of refillable options in our supermarket. Customers love these options, as they’re able to come in and pick up a variety of products and foods without bringing home a pile of useless packaging that would simply have to be binned, or possibly recycled. We see Locavore going from strength-to-strength based on customer demand for packaging-free options, and I think other businesses should look at how they can follow suit.”  Reuben Chesters, Managing Director, Locavore Community Interest company

The issue of how to tackle the harm caused by single-use plastics is hugely topical just now. In Scotland, around 120,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste is produced from households each year – much of which ends up in landfill.

Zero Waste Scotland has worked with Locavore to help flag up areas where the store could cut packaging and provided advice and funding to help them introduce these new packaging-free options for customers. Shoppers are increasingly concerned about single-use packaging which is often not, or can’t be, recycled.  While packaging has a role to play in ensuring food and other products reach consumers in good condition, businesses such as Locavore show that it can be reduced – and that’s extremely popular with shoppers.

The best way for businesses to take action then is to help reduce the amount of packaging we’re all using.

Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73 million Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies.

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