The biggest thing we can do to prevent more waste being produced is to reduce what we buy that doesn't break down naturally. Reducing what we buy also reduces how much we spend, so saving money. Do we really need that item? What is it made of? Will it last a long time? Can it be repaired? Can the various elements of it be fully recycled? Does it have plastic in it? Does it have a lot of packaging? Can I buy it second hand? Can I buy it without packaging? Can I make it or can someone else make it instead of buying packaged?
Where can we shop with packaging choices? Take a look at this list, and let us know where else people can buy with less packaging.
11 Bridge Street Kidderminster
Loose nuts bolts hooks screws and many other items therefore no plastic wrappers and you can buy just what you need. Paper bags can be provided and you can bring your own container.
Stanley’s Farm Shop
Fishers Castle Farm, Harvington Kidderminster
Selection of frozen fruits pastries and other items with no packaging – bring your own containers. Local fruits and veg in season many grown on the farm itself. Unwrapped fruit and veg - bring your own bags. Pick your own in season too.
Wide range of apples, pears, plums and cherries grown on the farm without chemicals and you can bring your own containers or bags. Many local historic varieties. Buy direct from the farmer in season - any amounts.
Birmingham Road Kidderminster
Selection of loose frozen fruits, vegetables, pastries – you can bring your own containers. Loose eggs, unwrapped bread. Wide range of unwrapped fruit and veg.
As One Vegan Lifestyle 36 High Street Stourport DY13 8BA
Some loose dried goods here, bring your own containers (and willing to provide a bigger range, speak to owner Lindsey). Soaps without wrappers, refillable liquids including shampoo and washing liquids, reusable coffee/tea cups and lots more. Now joined with a vegan cafe, so you can also enjoy delicious food and a cuppa while you browse.
Castle Road Kidderminster
0345 677 0390
Of special note here is the unwrapped bread – take your own bag. On checking with Tesco deli staff you can NOT use your own containers for their deli counter.
Have had success with taking our own containers here. Staff have had no objection to labelling containers for loose items such as deli purchases and pastries.
Tea lovers can buy a large variety of teas loose at Mrs Darley's Herbal - you can find her at Bewdley Museum. www.arcanus.co.uk 07977 096257
PG Tips do a loose tea in cardboard container with no foil packaging in the middle, available at most supermarkets.
Morrisons Kidderminster Green Street DY10 1AZ 01562 822537 - take your own containers for meat and fish. They also intend to sell cotton buds with only paper stems rather than plastic. Unfortunately these are in hard plastic containers, they tell me they are looking at this - in the meantime zero waste shops or online are a good source in card packaging. Morrisons are providing paper bags for loose produce - they have a see through middle to them, which they say is biodegradeable and can go into your paper recycling.
Tony Ray's Bakery Peel Street Kidderminster 01562 636463
Bread and cakes without packaging and paper bags given if you need packaging.
Extend the list! Where else have you seen efforts to reduce plastic? Where can we buy locally made/grown goods with no plastic? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKE NEW CHOICES FOR A CLEANER PLANET - it's easy!
1. Take a water bottle with you
2. Use hankies rather than tissues
3. Say no to plastic straws - take your own, stainless, bamboo and paper are all available.
4. Take your own shopping bag
5. Try to find second hand rather than buying new
6. Choose what you buy based on what packaging they're in
7. Buy loose fruit and veg not packaged - you might find taking some extra bags or containers useful but a lot of the time you don't need them.
8. Say no to plastic cutlery - take your own either the full monty or just a spork wrapped in a napkin.
9. If you like take-away coffee, take your own container - a tip here, first ask the person dispensing not to put it in their own disposable cup first! Many places give a discount if you take your own cup.
10. Look for stores that sell loose or refillable goods, see the list on the left
11. Use cloths instead of paper towels - use ones you already have or cut up old sheets/shirts etc to make new ones
12. Buy clothes etc made from natural fabrics that will break down rather than synthetics that live on.... and on..... and on.....
13. Try soap in a bar wrapped in paper. You can get shampoo bars from Lush, Etsy is a good source of paper wrapped goods (state you want plastic free packaging) AsOne Vegan Lifestyle have alternatives to plastic too.
14. If it's broke, fix it! Bring it to one of the Repair Cafe's - Kidderminster is at the Youth House Bromsgrove Street on the first Saturday of the month, Bewdley is at St George's Hall above the café on the third Saturday.( Not August.) Electrical, mechanical, tool sharpening, sewing fixes, and there's cake!
15. Challenge yourself to live with much less plastic and reduce waste. There are lots of groups out there with ideas and support. Try Zero Waste Worcestershire on Facebook for example.
16. Try cooking rather than buying packaged. The internet has masses of easy recipes and charity shops have lots of cookery books - you never know, you may be the next Jamie or Mary!