We’re all trying to live a little greener now, and there’s a store that is dedicated to just that – The Zero Waste Shop.
The shop, based in Sheffield University Students Union (SU), does exactly what the name suggests and provides shoppers with a chance to buy a range of products without wasteful packaging which would be thrown in the bin after the product had been used.
There’s food items such as spices, herbs, grains, legumes, dried fruits and nuts, and household essentials like laundry detergent, liquid hand soap and multi-surface cleaner.
There is also sustainable products on offer, from recycled kitchen and toilet roll to sustainable bamboo cutlery and kitchenware.
Mel Kee, SU Development Officer, said: “Each product is sold by weight so you can buy as much or as little as you need. You can fill a spice jar for as little as 20p.
“You can bring your own container, buy one from us, or use one of our recyclable paper bags.
“There’s no need to buy a new bottle or jar of product as it’s cheaper and less wasteful to refill.”
The store was opened in its current premises in April, but the concept began last year with a few ethically sourced items being sold in Our Shop, the Students Union main retail business.
The demand for the environmentally-friendly goods was so high, however, that when a space within the SU became vacant the store was opened – and the product line available grew.
Mel said: “We looked at what was happening across the world, and more importantly what wasn’t happening in South Yorkshire, and created a wishlist of what we’d like to sell.
“The shop has been extremely well received, both by those for who’s demands we answered we and those that were unaware of the concept.
“Customers have been very excited to be welcomed to a new and environmentally sustainable way of shopping.”
The store may be based within the Students Union,and mainly staffed by students who work part-time around their studies, but it is not exclusively for them and all members of public are welcome.
Mel said: “Our Zero Waste Shop is there to meet the needs of our students, but we’ve found it to be a welcome addition to the local community, given the demand for alternatives to plastic waste.”
Customers have also helped to shape the shop.
Mel said: “Engaging with our members has been key to the shops development since day one, for example following feedback we added stainless steel straw cleaners.”
The shop, which can be found in Sheffield University Students Union, Western Bank, is open from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and also 10am to 4pm on Saturday. You can visit su.sheffield.ac.uk/eat-drink-shop/our-zero-waste-shop for more, and search ‘Zero Waste Shop’ on Facebook and Instagram.