Our Zero Waste Shop

Green Impact met up with the Student’s Union Development Officer, Megan McGrath, to talk about the Zero Waste shop that’s about to open in the Student’s Union.

Zero Waste is a lifestyle where you minimise your impact on the environment as much as possible through the consumer choices you make. There has been huge demand for zero waste products since Blue Planet II aired in October last year, as people have started to realise how avoidable plastic pollution is impacting our planet. Meg says “plastic pollution is filling the oceans, starving birds and other sea life of food and threatening human life in the process”.

The ethos of the new Zero Waste shop is that nothing goes to landfill as a consequence of its existence. Suppliers send their refillable products with recyclable packaging. Instead of plastic bottles or bags, the shop sells reusable glass jars, provides recyclable paper bags and encourages you to bring your own containers from home to fill up with goodies.  It’s a throw-back to the old ‘Scoop and Save’ method of shopping – only taking as much as you need while cutting down on unnecessary packaging. Not only this, but all the furniture within the shop has been upcycled – even the till point is made from old flooring from the SU nightclub!

Items to be sold include kitchen products such as non-plastic ‘cling film’, bamboo toothbrushes, refillable shampoo and conditioner, detergent, metal straws, reusable coffee cups and water bottles, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Megan is most excited about the refillable herbs and spices range as this is a niche that hasn’t been filled yet elsewhere.

In the future, Megan hopes the shop might have a community fridge, where unwanted food can be shared, and even a Tetrapak recycling point (the only other in the whole city is at Waitrose)! There will also be feedback forms for customers to suggest new products, giving you the ability to shape the shop.

The shop is located in the old Property Shop inside the Student’s Union, right across from OurShop. It’ll be open from next week from 10-6 on most days and is open to anyone, not just staff and students! Stay up to date with the launch date, products and competition, like the Our Zero Waste Shop Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OurZeroWasteShop/

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4 thoughts on “Our Zero Waste Shop”

  1. Really interested , how are bulk products like rice and oats delivered to you ? What does your bulk shampoo come to you in , plastic or glass ? I am asking because I would love my Organic shop to be zero waste , but the new recyclable plastics don’t actually get recycled because there is as yet no facility in our area (Surrey ) , paper doesn’t cope well with oils in foods ,and paper becomes unrecyclable when oily . I have washing up liquid delivered in 25L plastic to do refills , but that’s one enormous lump of plastic that can’t go back to the supplier for refill . What do YOU do ? Thanks, Angie

  2. Hi
    As a family we accumulate lots of old jars from pickles mayo etc. Some go to mums for jame and pickles etc. but we just can’t re use enough. I came across you whilst searching for groups which might want to re use the jars. Do you have an connections with groups who might or could they be kept in your store as free stores for students to use if they haven’t brought a jar or similar.

    Trying to avoid just putting them in recylcing as perfectly useful for use as containers etc.

    Any help or advice you have would be great.


    1. Hi Graham, I’m sure our Student Union Zero Waste Shop could make use of these jars! Perhaps worth paying them a visit and asking them directly, otherwise I’m sure they’d have other helpful ideas. Thanks, Alice

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