Trying to reduce the amount of plastic you buy when grocery shopping? Well, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great plastic-free shops (as well as zero-waste stores) across the country, where you can buy all your food store essentials. I’m based in South East London, Crystal Palace to be specific so this list will just focus on businesses in this area for now. I will post at the end other plastic-free shopping locations across London, for those of you in other areas. So if you’re thinking about shopping more sustainably in the future check out one of these plastic-free shops in London.
How does plastic-free shopping work?
It’s simple! Plastic-free shopping just requires you to bring your own container and fill it. It doesn’t matter whether you use old coffee jars, glass containers or reusable food bags, anything that can be filled will work perfectly. You will find a number of plastic-free shops in London display their product and price lists online. So if you’re after a particular ingredient it may be worth checking it’s in stock before heading to the shop. You may also be able to pre-order items online too. Each shop will work differently, so do check individual websites for their processes and price lists.
Store Cupboard, Crystal Palace Market
Each week at Crystal Palace Food Market, the Store Cupboard opens its doors. They sell a range of organic refills of pulses, seeds, herbs, dried fruits and grains. You’ll also be able to get your hands on a variety of teas. But it’s not just dried foodstuffs you can purchase, there are also jarred produce and liquids on offer too. These include nut butter, maple syrup, vinegar, tahini, olive oil and coconut oil too. Check out their price list, or to place a preorder, visit the Store Cupboard website.
Crystal Palace Food Market, Haynes Lane, Upper Norwood, London SE19 3AN.
Opening Hours: Wednesdays from 2 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
Roots & Cycles
Located just next door to the Store Cupboard is Roots & Cycles. They’re an independent shop that provides locally sourced, and also affordable, eco-friendly household products. Just bring your own bottle and fill up on fabric conditioner, laundry liquid, toilet cleaner, hand soap and dishwasher powder. They also sell a range of eco-friendly dental products. We’re talking bamboo toothbrushes, mouthwash tabs and tooth floss too. And if you’re a fan of essential oils, they have a whole host of refillable options too, all at inexpensive prices. They’re currently in the process of refurbishing the store, so keep a lookout for new photos soon.
Haynes Lane, Upper Norwood, London SE19 3AN.
Opening Hours: Sunday and Monday from 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday from 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 4.30 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Fairly new to the world of plastic-free shopping in Crytal Palace is La Amazonas. This small, family-run business, sells a whole host of fantastic organic products. They have a few refill stations in-store, where you can bring your own container and stock up on pulses, coffee, nuts and dried fruit. As well as this, they have a nut butter station and wine refill station too. Don’t worry if you forget your own container, you can buy a wide variety in store. La Amazonas is also home to their own free-from bakery. They sell gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan baked goods, all of which are made fresh daily.
8 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, London SE19 1RX
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 8 am to 7pm and Sunday 9am to 4 pm.
Plastic-Free Shopping in London
But if you’re reading this and you’re not from Crystal Palace, don’t panic. There are tonnes of zero-waste, plastic-free stores scattered across the capital. I live in South East London, so have visited a lot more stores in this area. But I’ll also try and list a few around North, East and West London too. Plastic-free shopping options include North London: Pakota (currently moving locations) and Harmless Store in Crouch End (online only at the moment). If you live in East London you could try: RE: Store, Get Loose and E5 Bakehouse in Hackney. These are a few plastic-free shopping spots in South London: Gather in Peckham, The Village Green Grocers in Charlton Village, Forest Hill’s Beetroot & Beans, BYO Grocery in Nunhead, Naked Larder in Herne Hill, Organic Village in Dulwich and Lee Green’s SWOP. And West London you have The Source Bulk Foods in Chiswick, Wimbledon’s Zéro and Fulham’s Bygram.
Have you ever visited a plastic-free shop? Or do you plan to in the future? I’d love to hear about your favourite zero-waste, plastic-free shopping spots. Not just in London, but across the UK too.
Until next time.