13 September 2017

London’s first plastic-free shop is now open

In an effort to eliminate plastic pollution and raise awareness, Bulk Market is the first package-free pop up store in Islington, in North London.

Based on the idea that the modern supermarket has created convenience based in overly packaged and processed products, the entrepreneur Ingrid Caldironi launched the first shop in London that not only is plastic free, but also aims to achieve zero waste by setting up an onsite composting scheme.

Bulk Market currently has a stock of 300 items, including food, as well as dried goods such as bamboo toothbrushes, paper-wrapped toilet roll and even dog food.

All the products are brand-less, and locally sourced from social entrepreneurs, co-operatives and community farms, under 50-mile radius from the shop eliminating the supply chain packaging and transportation.

Some products are also produced from the owner herself.

The shop also aims to have a positive social impact, by supporting vulnerable social groups.

The shop collaborates with the Luminary Bakery, which provides training for vulnerable women, and supplies the Bulk Market with cakes.

 Other social enterprises include Dusty Knuckle, Growing Communities and Capital Growth.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own jars or bags, or use the compostable bags provided by the shop.

The current site constitutes a crowd funded pop up store, but the owner plans to move to a permanent site in the future.

Future plans include an on-site beehive, a commercial grade composting machine and a community area aimed for workshops to educate people and raise awareness to encourage people to reduce food waste and learn how to use food composting methods.

In an interview with Independent, Ingrid Caldironi, the owner, said: “The idea came from my own needs. I wanted to support the right businesses and be able to shop without creating any waste, but there wasn't anything like that in London”.

“I always thought waste was a natural output of modern living, but it turns out to be poor design. Things aren't designed in a circular economy mind-set yet”.

To find out more about the shop, click here.

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