I just spent my lunch break looking round shops in Marchmont for plastic-free options (obsessed, me?!). In 30 minutes, I'd found pretty much everything you need to live plastic free.
People of Marchmont... why on earth do you use plastic at all?
For those of you who are interested, here are the highlights:
There are fruit and vegetable shops everywhere. The majority are on Argyle Place / Sciennes Road, but there is one up on Marchmont Road also. I think they have almost every vegetable they you could ever want - including some soft berries in a non-plastic tub. Unfortunately their bargain deals often come plastic wrapped (at the moment they have two kilos of aubergine for 49 pence for example, or about 12 kiwi fruit for 45 pence) ... but I'm sure you could work something out with the owners.
Haddows has fresh bread (not plastic-wrapped), as well as other things like apple pie, cheeses etc.
There is one of the best fishmongers in Edinburgh: Eddie's Seafood Market. As well as having an amazing selection of fresh fish (and urchins etc), they smoke their own fish. While it comes normally in plastic, they are quite happy to provide it without plastic as well. I know a couple of plastic-free challengers were struggling to find plastic-free smoked fish, so I hope this helps! They also weigh the fish on paper, so no worries there.
There is also another fishmonger (Sheila's) next to a butchers (Michael Field). So that should cover plastic-free meat and fish, although I didn't check to see if they measure on plastic or not. There are a few other delicatessen / grocery shops here which are sure to have other good plastic free products - I found some rice in a cotton bag, for example.
For those of you with a sweet tooth - Candy Cupcake has old fashioned pick n' mix in paper bags. That sorts out the issue of afternoon snacks in the office (although, as a colleague pointed out when I returned triumphantly waving my paper bag of sweets - the sweets themselves are sure to have some kind of plastic in there somewhere, they are not the most natural looking! They do taste good however, and as well as bringing back memories of childhood, satisfied my need for unhealthy sugar).
The New Leaf on Argyle Place does Ecover refills.
Victor Hugo on Melville Terrace is a delicatessen, so it has a range of cheeses and meats, but it also has some delicious sounding vinegars and oils with which you can fill your own bottle.
Happy plastic-free shopping!