Plastic-free shopping range launched in Glasgow

A new store funded by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has opened at Locavore, Glasgow, offering an extensive range of products free from plastic packaging.

The new store on Victoria Road in Glasgow was made possible by £100,000 of funding from ZWS, supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund. ZWS has announced this week that it is seeking ideas from businesses to reduce single-use packaging, with total available funding in the region of £1million.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Warren McIntyre of ZWS visited the store to launch the new environmentally-friendly range, which includes pulses, nuts, grains, oil and vinegar, shampoos, milk in refillable glass bottles, all types of household cleaning products and even naughty snacks like popcorn.

Plastic-free shopping range launched in Glasgow
Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham attended the store's launch

In Scotland, around 120,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste is produced from households each year – much of which ends up in landfill. Tackling this waste and the subsequent damage done to oceans, habitats and food chains is an issue receiving global attention, and reducing waste at the consumers’ points of purchase is seen as one of the key solutions.

Cunningham commented: “It was fantastic to visit Locavore to launch its new range of packaging-free goods and see for myself how customers can come back again and again for essential items, thanks to the use of refillable containers. It’s ideas like this that are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s Making Things Last Strategy, which looks to develop our circular economy and protect our environment by keeping products in use as much as possible.”

Warren McIntyre added: “ZWS 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.”

McIntyre emphasised that “shoppers are increasingly concerned about single-use packaging which is often not, or can’t be, recycled”, and that “the best way for businesses to take action then is to help reduce the amount of packaging we’re all using. That’s why ZWS is looking for more ideas from businesses to help cut single-use packaging in Scotland. We have funding and support available which could make your plans a reality – so get in touch.”

Eliminating plastic waste

Earlier this year research highlighted the extent to which UK supermarkets are a major source of plastic waste, producing one million tonnes annually. However, some supermarkets have started making changes in order to lessen this waste. In February, a supermarket in Amsterdam launched the world's first plastic-free aisle, containing over 700 products. The Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has said that it will roll out similar aisles in all of its 74 branches across the Netherlands by the end of the year.

This month has also seen supermarket chain Iceland adopt the world’s first plastic-free trust mark, which aims to help consumers make more environmentally-conscious purchasing decisions. The ‘Plastic Free’ mark is borne by items free of plastic, which developers A Plastic Planet believe will lead to a significant reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic packaging food and drinks. The supermarket has announced its aim to eliminate single-use plastic packaging in all of its own-brand products by 2023, replacing it with carton board, wood pulp, glass metal and compostable materials.

Indeed, both the Glasgow store’s launch and ZWS’ pledge of funding come amid a wider, substantial movement regarding eliminating plastic waste. Prime Minister Theresa May committed the UK to eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as she revealed the 25 Year Environment Plan, while consultations on introducing a ‘plastics tax’ and a deposit return scheme for beverage containers have also been launched in recent months.

If your Scotland-based business has a strong, workable idea for reducing single-use packaging and could benefit from advice or funding to take it forward, Zero Waste Scotland are inviting expressions of interest on their website.

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