Saturday, 25 August 2012

Bring your own… on Broughton Street

What, no plastic?   For a month?  (long pause)…  Great idea, but it’s going to be tough.  What about shampoo?  Or  milk?  Come to think of it,  most food is wrapped in plastic.  Mmm....  Good luck.
This is a pretty standard response when I tell people that I’m cutting out buying any new plastic for a month.  

Then there is also lots of enthusiasm from other people (sometimes very unexpected):    ‘I’ve been meaning to cut down on the amount of waste I produce, I’m in!’  Or ‘What a great excuse to make me eat healthier food – cookies and chocolate are all wrapped in plastic, aren’t they?’  This enthusiasm tends to last until they realise there is something essential to them which is not readily available without some kind of plastic wrapping.   Yoghurt in cardboard, anyone?  Alternatives to deodorant in plastic containers?

After a week of emails back and forth with the intrepid folk who have agreed to give up plastic for a month – we’ve had a shampoo / conditioner / deodorant  crisis (and more or less solved it), decided we’ll need to make our own greek yoghurt and cookies, and it's been suggested that we need to have a fine box for anyone breaking the plastic rule out of desperation for something forbidden (£1 each time you buy something plastic… to be used for a celebration at the end of the month). 

The general consensus is that this is going to be nigh on impossible.

So I was pretty happy when, walking down Broughton Street today, I stopped into some shops and  nearly ALL of them had some kind of ‘Bring your Own Container’ system in place for people wanting to avoid packaging.    Perhaps this isn’t going to be so difficult after all?  Here’s to hoping!

For those of you who are interested - here are the highlights:

Artisan Roast Coffee:  57 Broughton Street 
The folks at Artisan Roast will give a 10% discount to customers who bring their own containers to buy coffee beans.  They weigh up your container and then just add the coffee in there directly.  They will also give customers who come in for a takeaway coffee 10% off the total if they bring their own cup.

Real Foods, 37 Broughton Street
This one is undoubtedly the absolute winner for bringing your own container!   They have every type of muesli that you can imagine (including the crunchy ones), oat, wheat and flour in bulk bags that you can help yourself to.  They will weigh your containers and then you can load them up with what you want to buy.  Most exciting, they have rice (brown rice, arborio rice, longrain rice, basmati rice etc) in bulk as well… I was having trouble finding this anywhere else with no plastic.  Along with Earthy foods – this is also the only place I’ve managed to find toilet roll with a 100% compostable wrapper – so that’s a relief -   I’d been imagining a month of having to steal loo roll to avoid the plastic issue.  It's also open until 9pm - which is great for those who pass by here after work (me!).

Broughton Deli and Cafe, 7 Barony Street
As well as freshly baked bread (not wrapped in plastic), they also have a ‘serve yourself’ vat of Hellenic Gold Extra Virgin olive oil.

Crombies Butcher, 97-101 Broughton Street
Great sausages and meat – and while this place uses lots of plastic (everything comes in plastic, and then gets wrapped in another plastic bag when you get to the counter unless you jump in quickly to wrestle your goods away) – they weigh all the meat on paper, so I imagine if you bring your own containers there would be no problem going plastic-free here.  Yeah!

Also worth a mention is Coco  Chocolate (71 Broughton Street) sells chocolate bars in paper wrappers…  

Happy plastic-free shopping!

No comments:

Post a Comment