If you don’t have like minded friends, have limited storage space or can’t reach the minimum order required to set up a food co-op then you can still reduce your packaging by checking out local stores for bulk buy bins. These are literally ‘bins’ filled with goods which you can purchase instead of buying pre packaged goods. Each bin has a scoop in it, and you scoop out exactly the amount you require into your own bags or containers.
Some shops, such as the wonderful Unpackaged, stock a massive range of goods which you fill your own reusable containers with. In unpackaged you can buy grains, cereals, dried fruit, herbs, toiletries, cleaning products and even oils and vinegars!
If you’re not lucky enough to live near the store, you might find some bulk buy bins in the most unlikely of places. We discovered some quite unexpectedly in a cut price store in the middle of nowhere! The range isn’t huge, but you can buy basic baking ingredients such as flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and cake mixes.
Buying from bulk bins means you can buy as little as you require, which is a great for those who live alone or who are on a limited budget. It helps to save on food waste and for the things you use a lot of; you can buy as much as you need! The prices are usually way below supermarket prices, which shows you just how much you are paying for branding and packaging.
If scoop-your-own bulk buy bins are not available nearby, then look out for pre packaged goods in super sized packages from your supermarket such as tea bags, coffee drums and tinned tomatoes. Keep food waste in mind though; don’t buy more than you need!
Do you have bulk bins available to you? What sort of goods can you buy?
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