It's a widely known fact that we need to stop using plastic and cut down on the waste we produce. Over 100 billion plastic bags are currently thrown away each year, with only a small fraction of that number recycled.
Plastic is not bio-degradable, once discarded they can sit in landfills for over a thousand years before breaking down and if discarded incorrectly can cause danger to many species of wildlife that mistake it for food.
No matter how much you care about the planet however, cutting out plastic and waste from your lifestyle can often seem near impossible when everything available to buy around us is sold packaged up.
Nicola and Richard, a young couple from Totnes, Devon, exasperated with the difficulty of cutting out waste, decided to move away from their inner-city life and find an alternative way of living. Now, they have opened the UK's first ever zero waste shop, to show other people that they can do it too.
The shop stocks organic, whole foods with absolutely no packaging. Instead of taking everything home in plastic that will get thrown straight out, customers bring their own reusable containers and bags to fill with shopping.
"Not so long ago, living a fast-paced city life in an apartment block that had no recycling facilities we soon began to notice the accumulation of recycling we created each week" the couple explains on their site.
"It was during these trips to and from the recycling plant that we thought ‘there must be another way?’"
"We have a vision for the kind of world we want our children to grow up in and this shop is helping to make that a reality. It is with pride that we open our doors to you, as we work together as a community in creating a healthier planet."
How To Shop Waste Free at Earth.Food.Love.
STEP 1. Place any empty container on the scale and print a label/write directly on the container the number it provides you with. This is now the weight of this container and can remain on the container for future use.
STEP 2. Fill your container with desired product.
STEP 3. Place the container back onto the scale, type in the weight number you received in step 1 and print a ticket (or write) the weight and price calculated. Then pay for your product!
While we're still a long way away from the Tescos and Asdas of the world ditching their packaging and going zero waste, shops like this show that it can be done.
We hope that this first shop will inspire many other shopkeepers to make the leap and start cutting plastic out of their workplace.
Fancy visiting the store or learning more about Nicola and Richard's tips for cutting down on waste? Find out more on the site.