Plastic Free July: Find the best zero waste shops in Bristol

With Plastic Free July upon us, we delve into Bristol’s best zero waste and plastic-free shops and it turns out there’s a fair few

<p>Zero Green is all about plastic free alternatives and refillables</p>

Zero Green is all about plastic free alternatives and refillables

It’s perhaps not surprising that Bristol does pretty well with its zero waste and plastic-free shops given that the city is renowned for its green initiatives and for being sustainably focused.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Why not look to be a part of Plastic Free July by choosing to shop at zero-waste shops or look to plastic-free alternatives? We’ll help you out by rounding up those in Bristol...

Launched in 2021, Oat Float is an amazing idea and is Bristol’s first mobile zero-waste shop, bringing packaging-free shopping to your doorstep in their converted electric milk float.

The refill shop on wheels wants to help customers reduce their carbon and plastic footprint and is passionate about reusing and promoting the plastic-free alternative.

Oat Float is now owned and run by Matt Wilkinson. In 2019, his family was one of 50 Bristol households to take part in Bristol Waste’s inaugural #wastenothing challenge, an experience that opened their eyes to refilling. It made them realise that it would be incredibly useful if the refills could come to them - so they did it!

The Oat Float is such a brilliant idea, bringing plastic-free refills to your door

One of the newer zero waste shops in Bristol, Smaller Footprints is situated on Regent Street in Clifton Village and sells a wide range of single-use packaging-free food and non-food items.

Their products include rices, pastas, beans, cereals, nuts (and grind-your-own nut butter!), chocolate, herbs & spices, loose teas, coffee beans, honey, cooking oils, flours, sugar, cleaning products and a range of environmentally conscious non-food items.

Although Zero Green on North Street is temporarily closed until the end of July, it’s still one of the best (often voted as the best) and was the first zero waste shop in Bristol so it’s only fair to include it ready for you to continue your plastic-free July into August and onward!

The shop is stocked full of natural, plastic-free products and they support local makers and producers, as well as buying in bulk in order to keep costs as low as possible for customers.

The owners want to empower their customers to live an Earth-friendly, plastic-free and zero waste lifestyle. Their mission is to help minimise the use of packaging that is polluting this beautiful planet.

Zero Greens is on North Street in Southville

Scoopaway is situated proudly on the independent-loving Gloucester Road and is an independent local natural and wholefoods store.

The shop has plenty of plastic-free options and provides an extensive range of cereals, dried fruits, nuts, pulses, herbs and spices, as well as a good selection of body care and toiletries.

The 4000 products that you can find in Scoopaway are available to scoop loose as much or as little as you need.

Another Gloucester Road favourite, Harvest is a Bristol-based worker-owned co-operative. They provide ethically assured, healthy and fairly-traded products that people can trust and as part of their recent and exciting refreshed look and layout, they are now very pleased to offer an expanded range of zero-waste products.

Preserve Foods is a popular shop in Bristol

One of the biggest zero waste operators in Bristol, Preserve has sites in Bedminster, Bishopston, Redfield and Westbury on Trym, making plastic-free alternatives far more readily available.

They pride themselves on being organic, sustainable and affordable so aim to keep their store as accessible as possible. You can expect to find baking ingredients, grains, cereals, chocolates and sweets, fruit, herbs and spices, as well as household and cleaning goods and beauty goods.

In a brilliant move forwards, Bristol SU now has its very own zero waste shop. Based in the Richmond Building of the University of Bristol, students can buy essentials at affordable prices without worrying about plastic waste.

The shop stocks an assortment of dry food products, sweets, herbs and spices, home essentials and toiletries, too. It opened in November last year and is in a trial period to see if it works - fingers crossed!

Bristol SU Zero Waste Shop is in a trial period

Okay, so this one is actually an online retailer based out of Bristol which is acting as a go-to resource online for people to be able to carefully select plastic-free alternatives to everyday products.

Founded by Cath, its mission is to source ethical and sustainable alternatives to help people reduce the amount of plastic in their everyday life.

Nom Wholefoods is a plastic-free refill shop in East Bristol that was born from husband and wife duo Nikki and Matt’s home in Fishponds.

​​Fast forward to today and Nom is a refill shop committed to providing the East Bristol and South Gloucestershire community with the highest quality natural food, sourced ethically, with minimum impact on the environment.

Wild Oats in Redland is Bristol’s oldest independent health store, and they are packed full to the brim with natural foods and natural beauty products, as well as vitamins and supplements. A lot of their products are plastic-free and zero waste.

Wild Oats Natural Foods is well known across the city

Based in Totterdown, Bloop is a zero waste shop run by husband and wife team Jayne and Karl in a former bakery in Totterdown in south Bristol. The way this one works is that you order online and then collect from the lockers outside the store.

They sell a range of plastic-free household and refillable cleaning products which are eco-friendly and all help reduce plastic waste, as they believe passionately that reusing plastic is more efficient than recycling it and the way forward for the world.

Jayne is a former hairdresser with a second business making eco-friendly and sustainable hair products (Hairy Jayne). She sources most of the plastic-free beauty products from other makers she’s met along the way and Karl is a sound designer when he’s not working in the shop. Hence the name... Bloop!