The UK's Largest Zero Waste Supermarket Has Opened Its Doors

The Clean Kilo strives to be as close to zero waste as possible – and getting closer all the time.



(The Clean Kilo/Dominika Kubalova)

Plastic-free supermarkets have begun to spring up in different countries lately and their success is a clear sign that consumers are ready and willing to forego plastic waste. The Clean Kilo: Zero Waste Supermarket wants to take this green trend a step further, and recently opened its doors in Birmingham in the UK as the country’s biggest zero-waste supermarket.

The store is the brainchild of Tom Pell. He and his partner Jeanette long felt that they “needed to do something about the amount of plastic which ends up in the environment.” While thinking about ways to reduce the amount of plastic used in our daily lives, they came to think of the obscene use of unnecessary plastic for food packaging and the idea for The Clean Kilo was born.

The supermarket carries everything from produce to cleaning products, with one major difference: you will barely find any packaging anywhere in the building. Instead, shoppers can bring their own bags and containers or purchase multi-use containers in the market. Buying only the amounts that you need instead of pre-packaged quantities saves money and will also cut down on food waste.

Tom was able to crowdfund close to £20,000 ($26,000) through a campaign on Indigogo earlier this year, and on June 16, 2018, The Clean Kilo finally opened its doors. The Clean Kilo is also environmentally conscious and uses local suppliers and farms, grows its own herbs, and makes its own fresh squeezed orange juice and plant-based milk. Shoppers will find a large assortment of dried food, pasta, cereals, coffee beans, and other bulk items, as well as freshly baked wares.

While Tom is aware that “no-one can claim to be completely zero waste even if they shop in zero waste stores and recycle because there is still waste in manufacturing and distribution,” he says he strives to be as close to zero as possible and are getting closer all the time.

Plastic-free shopping has been growing in the UK and around the world because of the rising awareness of the issue of plastic waste, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose with up to 12.7 tons of plastic finding their ways into our oceans every year. into our waterways So much so that UK major supermarkets have pledged to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025 under a UK Plastic Pact. This agreement was organized by Wrap, a government based environmental charity.

Under the agreement, single-use plastics will only be allowed if they are made of recyclable materials and are judged absolutely necessary. Over 40 firms committed to making their plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or combustible. Non-recyclable products could become a thing of the past.

Plastic-free and zero waste supermarkets will continue to grow in popularity as more and more people are environmentally educated to take care of our planet.

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