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Independent Retailers Helping To Change The Way We Shop

8th July 2019

Climate emergency headlines and programmes such as the BBC's War on Plastic are driving consumers to take action against single-use plastic.

In Scotland alone, around 224,000 tonnes of plastic waste is collected from Scottish households each year - and if not recycled correctly, can end up in landfill.

This increased awareness of the environmental impact of single-use plastics is turning the spotlight on retailers. The UK's largest supermarkets have pledged their commitment to move away from using single-use plastics and become signatories of the UK Plastics Pact which brings together the entire plastics packaging value chain to tackle the significant amount of waste that has become a normalised part of shopping. Many have announced their sustainability strategies and begun implementing bold changes such as Waitrose which launched its refillable, package free pilot store earlier this month. In addition many have introduced package free trials for some of their fruit and vegetable ranges.

They join the already growing global movement of independent shops branded ‘packaging free' stores which have already committed to reducing waste by doing away with unnecessary single-use packaging altogether. Globally these innovative 'packaging free' stores are helping to revolutionise the way we shop - minimising the impact of consumer waste and ultimately helping customers on their journey to a zero waste lifestyle.

Whilst some stores still sell some products with packaging, they are all committed to providing customers with an eco-friendly alternative such as a refill service. This eliminates the need for single-use packaging for products like pasta, vegetables and, in some cases, even bathroom essentials, such as shampoo and soap.

‘Packaging free' stores are just one of a growing number of initiatives helping Scotland fight the war on single-use plastic. Scotland was the first part of the UK to announce that it is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging. The scheme will be easy to access and incentivise consumers to recycle.

Zero Waste Scotland

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