food waste

This Organic, ‘Zero Waste’ Supermarket Doesn’t Sell Anything in Packages

Products cost less, too, because they’re just dumped into bulk bins. Photo: Earth.Food.Love/Facebook

Here’s a guilt trip for the food-waste conscious: Do you even hand-grind your own nut butter into Mason jars, or are you still stuck recycling the empty plastic ones? If you do the latter, perhaps it’s time that you moved on to shopping at Earth.Food.Love, Britain’s only zero-waste supermarket. Located in Totnes near the English Channel, it’s a new store that was started by Richard Eckersley, a former player for Manchester United. Eckersley has since turned vegan and is also now raising a 15-month-old daughter with his wife, Nicola. Between those two, his interest in soccer apparently dwindled, and he substituted that obsession with a new mission to “tread more lightly on the planet.” He created Earth.Food.Love, and believes the 200 products sold there represent “the future of shopping.”

“Nothing comes through the door here unless it’s unpackaged and organic,” he tells the Times of London. “We sell everything that’s dried, so you’ve got grains, beans, pulses, legumes, rice, seeds, flours, sugars, seaweed and spaghetti, yeast flakes and stock. We’ve got herbs and spices and dried fruit.” There are also stock syrups, cider, teas, chocolate, and a line of Zero Waste Lifestyle toiletries (things like metal razors and “washable wipes”). Dry goods and other items are sold in bulk by weight. Everything is organic, and lots of stuff are local.

The real standout element is that you’re asked to bring your own bags — or pots, bottles, jugs, whatever vessel you want. Compostable paper bags are available to first-timers who stumble in sans sack of Mason jars, but those won’t do them any good if they decide they need the shop’s organic laundry detergent or local handmade, cruelty-free, refillable toothpaste.

‘Zero Waste’ Supermarket Doesn’t Sell Anything in Packages