Trying To Go Zero Waste? 11 Plastic Free Online Shops You'll Love
‘Going zero-waste’: the expression has exploded over the last few years. Yet, with a puny number of plastic-free alternatives in your local supermarket, and no zero-waste shop near you, does ditching the single-use seem daunting?
Having a plastic free pantry, bathroom and bedroom might not have to remain a fantasy, thanks to the growing availability of online plastic free goods and groceries. Here's our top ten.
Online zero-waste stores mean that stocking up for your weekly food, bath and beauty routines need not involve juggling jars and weighing walnuts.
You can bypass the plastic and buy in the bread and butter from the comfort of your own home.
But wait...what actually is the problem with plastic?
Why try to go towards zero-waste in the first place? Yes, litter looks unsightly, but is buying your essentials sealed in a protective layer really that bad?
Here are the points you need to know about single use plastic:
1. How big is the plastic pollution problem?
- Every single day, at least 8 million pieces of plastic enter our oceans.
- Approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic currently lie on our planet.
- That’s 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy.
- Collectively, these pieces weigh 269,000 tons.
- That’s about the same as 1345 adult blue whales.
2. How permanent is plastic?
- A plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment.
- Over time it will fragment into smaller and smaller pieces.
- Eventually these pieces will become microscopic, but they will NEVER truly go away.
- Every single piece of plastic that has ever been produced is, therefore, still with us in some form.
- Almost all plastic produced after 1950 is still sitting in landfills.
3. How does plastic actually cause harm?
- For wildlife, such as fish, dolphins, seabirds and seals it can be deadly.
- They easily and frequently become entangled in plastic or mistake it for food.
4. It doesn’t affect ME directly though does it?
- 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption now contain plastic. So we are eating it too!
- In seawater, plastic absorbs chemicals like PCBs and DDTs.
- These substances have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some cancers.
- They become more powerful as they work their way up the food chain, so the problem is becoming increasingly potent.
- 72% of tap water in European nations, including the UK, Germany and France, now contains contaminating plastic.
These stats and facts were gathered together by environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage.
Enough of the grim stuff!
11 Plastic Free Online Shops You'll Love
1. Zero Waste Club
The Zero Waste Club Story
Zero Waste Club grew out of two friends’ dissatisfaction with the disingenuity of so many brands, who sport the ‘sustainable’ label to simply be stylish. For Rishi and Pawan, encouraging ethical consumerism really lies at the core of their company. That’s why they also:
- Stock wholesale, to try to get supermarkets selling more zero-waste supplies.
- Design their beautiful pieces to last.
- Use 100% unbleached cardboard for all of their packaging.
- Harm no animals and pay artisans real wages.
- Take your packaging back from you, and reuse it.
2. Plastic Free Pantry
Plastic Free Pantry describe themselves as a ‘small’ social enterprise. Yet, the range of plastic free products they provide is anything but. Have you been put off the plastic free life because the zero-waste shop near you is a little limited? Plastic Free Pantry is the perfect online place.
They think 2025 is not soon enough to quit plastic. So, they offer a vast variety of whole foods and storeroom staples. You can stock up on:
- The standard stuff: Rice, pasta, dried fruit, beans, lentils etc.
- Baking products, vegan chocolates, teas and coffees, plastic free and reusable menstrual products and meat substitutes.
The Plastic Free Pantry production line
This pantry helps to clean up communities too. They offer a 10% discount, if you pick up 10 pieces of litter.
Working zero-waste practices into every stage of the production line is what the plastic free pantry are particularly good at. Sometimes, buying products plastic-free in bulk is not possible. In this case, they work with suppliers to change their packaging, or seek new produce sources. They also provide information and resources to help others go zero waste. This info will become accessible on their website in the coming months.
Organic string bags, reusable coffee cups and pot brushes. Looking to kit out your kitchen, bathroom and beauty routine with products that do not pollute the planet? Checking out this online zero-waste shop is definitely Worth your Whyle.
The game is in the name. This brilliant online shop specialise in bespoke boxes. They come packed with your individual toxin and plastic free preferences. Choose from:
- Wake up and smell the coffee
- On the go cocoa
- The ultimate ethical woman package
- Eco friendly travel kit
Plastic free products can be bought by themselves from this online shop as well. They sell sweet treats, like vegan cookies and cocoa, as well as a litany of lifestyle products from socks to soap bars.
The LOWTOXBOX story
Her boxes are perfect for presents, or for filling in that one area of the zero-waste lifestyle you were struggling with. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the hand-picked products in each of Lucy’s boxes are protected by plastic-free packaging and labelled with non-toxic inks. LOWTOXBOX also plant a tree for every box they sell, to offset their carbon footprint.
5. No Plastic Shop
If there’s no zero-waste stop on your block, try No Plastic Shop. Amongst so many other bathroom and toiletry supplies, you can find:
No Plastic Shop also offer a subscription service, to make your plastic free shopping even more mindless. By signing up, you can save time and money. A regular order will be delivered to you every one, two or three months at 15% off the marked price.
You don’t need to get het up about being a hypocrite either. All orders are sent out in zero-plastic packaging and locally recycled materials are used wherever possible.
The No Plastic Shop testimony
"We all need to start reducing our plastic waste, if we want to preserve the oceans for future generations. There are so many wonderful products available that contain no plastic, especially basics such as soap and shampoo. Not only is swapping to zero plastic products better for the environment, it can also be better for your hair, skin and well being," says No Plastic Shop's owner, Izzy Crouch.
6. The Plastic Free Shop
Any eco essential you can think of can be purchased from the Plastic Free Shop. What’s great about this zero-waste website is that it’s easier to navigate than a physical supermarket. Thanks to their neat and nifty categories, you feel organised and in control of your plastic free purchases.
The Plastic Free Shop back story
The creator of the Plastic Free Shop is Cath. It was developed out of her own determination to find good value and great quality, planet-friendly alternatives for the everyday shopper. Maybe that’s why her online store is so practical!
True to their word, The Plastic Free Shop ensures that their plastic-free pledge is continued in their packaging. Thus, your gifts, toiletries and wildflower seeds will come wrapped in reused or recycled paper, sealed with biodegradable tape and can all be recycled or composted with your carboard box! Even your invoice will be printed on unbleached recycled paper!
7. Anything But Plastic
This new company are bringing a fresh eco energy to the zero-waste scene. Alongside the reusable staples (like shampoo and toothbrushes), their online plastic free shop stocks some bits and pieces you might not have thought of.
There are so many little caps, seals and clasps that can sneak into your bathroom, bedroom or cooking cabinets.
Anything But Plastic sell items like:
The Anything But Plastic story
The superwoman behind this online space is Jenny. She is not out to pull the plastic wrap over anyone’s eyes. That’s why Anything But Plastic are developing a rating system for the different materials they use. This means that we, the consumers, can make fully informed choices about our purchases, and help this enterprise go fully zero waste.
8. Acala Online
Is it the beauty and wellness side of the zero-waste zeitgeist that’s your bugbear? Then Acala Online are your answer. Giving up your old go-to products, which work perfectly for your skin and style, can be one of the hardest parts of the plastic free path.
Acala’s online zero-waste supplies include:
And if these don’t suit you, they have aDIY beauty section that stocks the kit and concoctions required to craft your own personalised products.
Parents, they’ve got you covered too.
- Breast pads.
- Paper towels.
- Pacifiers and baby’s bottles.
- Everything nappy related- pins, dirty nappy bags and reusable nappies of course.
Their Zero To Landfill (ZTL) Loop Scheme is how Acala are working towards eliminating health and beauty related waste from landfills. As part of this programme, you can return your glass bottles to Acala, free of charge. This will radically reduce the resources used in the production of beauty bottles.
9. Good Club
Good Club are the first ever online zero-waste food supermarket. Yes, you read that right.
They sell thousands of sustainable food stuffs and household supplies. To achieve this ethically, they are developing a closed loop system. This means they will eventually use custom designers, reusable product packaging and delivery boxes. So, each time you have a food delivery from them, your boxes and barrels will be recovered, cleaned and reused.
This enterprise have enough on offer to help any customer move closer towards zero-waste.
- Baking products
- Jams and spreads
- Snack bars
- Veggie alternatives
- Surface cleaners
- Vitamins and supplements
This barely scratches the sustainable surface - there is a plethora of plastic free pleasure to be explored!
Whilst Boobalou is a distributor of a wide range zero-waste essentials, they also craft a few of their own zero-waste products as well. Alongside the standard plastic free options, they have some unique items, including:
What makes this online store unique is that they are a proud member of 1% For The Planet. This means that they donate 1% of their revenue to protecting our oceans from plastic pollution.
Eco Living also partner with Eden Reforestation Projects, planting native trees to help stop climate change and reduce extreme poverty. For every product they sell, they get something green growing, so they are completely carbon neutral.
Because they are deeply committed to doing as little harm to the environment as possible, their products are vegan as well as being plastic free.
EarthBits was born out of a desire and mission to help reduce waste, pollution and plastic. They fully vets all their suppliers and products, most of which are local to them, and fully investigate the sustainability of each product such as:
- Zero waste make up
- String shopping bags
- Plastic free skincare gift sets
All their packaging is plastic-free and completely recyclable, and they make sure that all the products are not just environmentally friendly, but they are also durable and high quality, to avoid unnecessary waste whenever possible.
They never sell products that they wouldn't be proud to use themselves, and in fact, most of their stocked products are eco-friendly alternative they personally use and love in their daily lives.
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