New zero waste shop

Anonymous submitted on

Wednesday 7th August 2019


You have said you plan to create a new zero waste shop. 

How do you plan on achieveing this? How is the produce going to arrive at the shop and be topped up?

How will you make sure that there hasn't been packing and waste created in transporting it to the university?


Let's keep this space positive and respectful! Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions, but please remember to keep the conversation friendly and avoid any offensive comments.

Fiona Sunderland submitted on

Monday 7th October 2019


Thank you for getting in touch about our new Zero Waste Shop.

The team has been tirelessly researching the set up this part of The Plant Pot to ensure that it is in line with other Zero Waste Shops in terms of its ethical standards and its use of packaging. We have selected suppliers who meet these standards and can supply to our area.

One of our suppliers is a Cooperative which is owned by its workers and is one of the largest equal pay co-operatives in Europe. It reinvests its profits into planting 5,300 trees each year to offset the carbon emissions from its deliveries and is partnered with Treesponsibility who work with local schools to plant trees, as well as the CO2mittment Scheme.

We will be selling bulk food, which students can buy from our dispensers in recyclable paper bags or reusable containers. These are delivered to us in plastic from the supplier because using cardboard or paper would not be strong enough to take the weight of the goods and dramatically reduces its shelf life, potentially leading to more food waste.

We admit, this isn’t ideal but it is the standard for food hygiene at the moment and one large bag uses less plastic than multiple smaller ones. To further combat this our supplier uses the same Plan A packaging that M & S do, which uses 20% less plastic. It also vets all its suppliers to ensure the plastic they use is BPA free. They will  take back their plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and wrap from us and ensures that it is all recycled, either within their own warehouse or with partnered companies in the UK.

The supplier is steadily working to reduce plastic within their production and warehouses, starting by completely removing all plastic bottles and polystyrene in 2018. This year they started to switch from plastic tape to biodegradable paper tape, this is gradual process as they use up what is left. All their paper products are made from 100% recycled fibres sourced from the UK. They reduce their carbon footprint by only delivering on certain days of the week when they are in our area. This reduces the number of miles their vans do on the road.

We intend The Plant Pot to be something that evolves with student input and as soon as we hear of any supplier or company that has higher standards, or uses less packaging we will switch over. It is a growing market, and at the moment an imperfect one, but we hope that we can help to support a lasting change.

I hope this explains everything you wanted to know,

Kind regards,

Emily Harrison

President, 2019-20