Zero Waste Shopping is here!

Filed in Blog, Waste News by on April 5, 2010 12 Comments
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zero waste shopping is online is now live, although not totally kicking yet as we are still in the beta stage. You can help us get the final features tuned up by applying for registration before we open the doors fully.

What’s this

conference-125Over the last 2 year we have learnt much from experience and interaction with our readers about the practical methods of reducing consumer waste. One question that comes up time and time again is ‘What can I buy and where can I get it from’

If you are serious about reducing waste know you’ll know that it all begins when you do your shopping. It’s about making good choices before you get to the checkout, but to do that you need to know what to buy and where to get it from. Supermarkets are swamped with choice and that’s not always helpful.

We are here to help you find the brands, products and stores that provide the best ecological packaging. That’s what is all about!

Some details …

1articlesZero Waste Shopping will be a member driven website that will be easy to use, visually attractive and providing unique information as to how and where to buy products that excel in low or no waste packaging. All the content will feature Brands, products and stores that use low packaging, recycled packaging, refill/ exchange systems, or materials that can be recycled easily after use. It will be easy for members to post about their shopping experiences and also to find brands, products and stores that are eco-friendly that they may otherwise not be aware of.


infoZerowasteshopping invites you to register, then post some simple details about any sort of shopping items that you think is eco-packaged, or offers other sustainability features. When the post appears on the website, it will suddenly acquire lots of new features to automatically help you explore and discover more about the product and packaging!

Here are a few things you can do with your posts

1- Shopping items can be grouped in categories for convenient viewing.
2- Items will automatically be associated with other similar shopping items.
3- Stores can be grouped to see all items available from that shop.
4- Brands can be grouped to show all items by that brand.
5- Individual products can be grouped to show how brands vary.
6- Packaging materials can be grouped to show various products available.
7- Store groupings can feature a little description of the stores eco policies
8- Brand groupings can feature a little description of the brands eco policies.
9- Packaging groupings can feature a little description about how its recycled.
10- All these grouping are just a mouse click away by clicking tags and icons.
11- Each post author can show all their posts, by clicking their username link.
12- Keep up to date by following posts by RSS with lots of options.

green-newsIn addition, you can vote for a brand, and a store for each post and see who is popular in the consumer zero waste stakes. Vote also if you can recycle the packaging yourself and how you do so. Take a waste survey and find out what other eco-consumers think about packaging.

You can comment publicly on any post and even keep a private favourites list of shopping items!

Finally as a member you can chat freely in an exclusive members area like facebook. Talk to members with similar shopping habits and values and pick up tips for zero waste shopping.

We think you’re going to like it…

Take a look and tell us what you think by clicking here or the link to zerowasteshopping in the main menu. Oh,  and if you want to take part in our beta tests, please send us a contact form.

Zero Waste Shopping is here

Zero Waste Shopping is here


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Comments (12)

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  1. This will be a great resource. There are plenty of manufacturers who are doing a great job and hopefully this will encourage even more changes to be made amongst those who also want to improve. Well done in your new venture. It looks great. 🙂

  2. Mr Green says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. You are right, lots of producers and own label products are improving in their packaging. Only yesterday, we went into the co-op store locally and sawa fresh strawberries in a clear clamshell carton. When I looked more closely it was marked RPET so I reckon that’s good for PET recycling. It’s a big improvement on PVC and PS which is the usual materail for clear plastic packaging.

    We hope ZWS really works for people, once they get used to it.

  3. Fantastic idea! Can’t wait to see how it all works when you’re up and running.

  4. Mr Green says:

    Hiya Green Gal, thanks for the head up! Let us know if you want to register. We’re still in beta, so we need to send you a code to login.

  5. It is a really great site and will be a great resource to all once up and running live.

  6. Mr Green says:

    Hi Maisie. Thanks for your comment. I can see you have already got in there and put some posts and comments up. Useful stuff as well! We all have a much to share when it comes to shopping ideas and habits. Your post about pearl barley was news to me. I guess it’s impossible to see everything in the store and this is where zero waste shopping should be helpful to all.

  7. As I said over there each time I have to deal with an item of packaging I’ll enter the info up.

    Am I better to search to see if something has already been entered or will the site automatically put things together.

  8. Mr Green says:

    @maisie dalziel: It’s a good idea to see what’s been already posted. A quick search will usually return a list of items in the database with your search word(s) There is bound to be some duplicates, but I don’t think it matters too much. I’ll tidy things up in admin if we have too many repeats.

  9. Layla says:

    Great site!!

    I wish there would be pictures of products too? 🙂
    Also not sure where one can vote for how zero waste this really is? And is there an option to search for ‘naked’ stuff only, or fully recyclable, etc? (Gotta check it out some more when I’m not sleepy! :))

    Do you plan to have it for UK mostly or international? Not sure how useful it will be with regard to shopping in Slovenia, does it make sense to add things from here? Some products and shops may be international, or as inspiration for looking what’s available elsewhere!

    PS. Is PVC still used for food packaging? I thought it was mostly replaced by other stuff? (Still in many plastic candles though, at least here.) It would be great to know if RPET can also be recycled again, and how many times? (And how can they calculate this? Are there numbers of how many times something is used?) lol my mind works too much!! 🙂 Gotta go sleep!

    Anyway, just wanted to say it’s an awesome site!!

  10. Mr Green says:

    @Layla: Hi Layla thanks for your comment and questions.

    1- I thought hard about making the site image ready for shopping items, but came to the conclusion that many users would not be in a position to take photos of products, or just feel that it would be too much work. I wanted to keep the user input as simple as possible. That said, it’ is possible to upload pictures to an image service like photobucket and just make a link to them in the post.

    If users decide they really want to upload images, I can bring that feature in.

    2- Each item posted has a few voting options that anyone can add to. I hope this will eventually build a picture of each item to show how recyclable or whatever, it it is.

    3- Yes, you can search for any keyword(s) in the top search bar, or you can search the find it > tags page (in the menu bar) You can also click a whole variety of link words in orange, such as the tags, usernames, categories, or the image icons under the post’s main page.

    There are many ways to find things, nothing is hidden, or deeply complicated, (I hope!)

    4- PVC is being replaced by PS and clear PET. PVC is not considered a good food packaging because of the possibility of migration of vinyl chloride monomer. PVC is especially of concern with packaging of fatty foods. PVC uses as much as 40% pasticiser to make the material flexible, including materials such as Phthalates and DEHA (di-(2-ethyhexyl)adipate) Those chemicals are linked to Endocrine disruption and possible birth defects. There are also other environmerntal ussues with PVC

    If you suspect one of your favourite foods is using PVC and the packaging is not maked there is a simple test you can do at home to indicate PVC or not. I’ll post about this on zerowaste shopping soon. Read this Balstein wire test for starters., its a PDF download.

    5- Can you recycle RPET? well, yes, you can,
    how many life cycles? I don’t know, but it all gets mixed up together, so I guess the batches are tested for integrity. By the way, RPET can sometimes be spotted because there is a slight yellow tint to a clear bottle, which indicated mixing of other PET colours in the recycling process. Food grade PET often gets down cycled anyway to make things like fibre fill jackets, carpets, clothing etc.

    6- Thanks for the heads up on the new site. Hope you find it fun and useful to use. 🙂

  11. Layla says:

    WOW, Thank You Mr Green for such detailed answers!!

    I haven’t thought of simply linking to Photobucket – would work splendidly, I guess!
    (Maybe there could be a reminder for people somewhere on the website?)
    I hope people do post small bitsy pics (from Flickr or Photobucket or whatever) as it’s much simpler to look at a thing and have an opinion about it quickly, especially as a non-native speaker I have to sometimes read ‘headlines’ twice to see what it’s about (eg Lush bar or catalog! :))

    I had no idea anyone was still using PVC for food packaging, so a home test would be great! Some packaging here is still unlabelled. Thanks for the link!

    What about an opinion re: which Slovenian/Italian etc things to post about (if at all) and which not? (There’s some English people in Slovenia too, or tourists, so…?)

  12. Mr Green says:

    @Layla: `Hi Layla, no problem with the detail. I’ve worked with this site for a while now, so I know it inside out.

    For the moment, I think it’s best to post items that can be purchased anywhere. That means online stores that are happy to post globally. We have the technology to ‘internationalise’ zerowasteshopping, that is, make country specific versions that serve a particular region. However, I won’t be doing that untill I get everything running smoothly on this version. I also need to be sure that there is a demand and popularity for this type of website.

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