Feel a bit depressed every time you bin a plastic container? Then try Plastic Free July. Look out some suitable receptacles before cycling/walking to your nearest refillery (there are loads in Scotland now, the list below is not exhaustive). For milk, we recommend Mossgiel Farm and their refillable bottles.
THE LITTLE GREEN LARDER
If you’re horrified by the plastic that comes with every punnet of strawberries, this place offers Balhungie Berry Farm’s finest in compostable containers. They also have hundreds of loose products, from pine nuts to baking powder, as well as fruit, veg and Zero Waste Food Boxes for delivery. They get extra ethical points for having a donations area, where you can leave items for them to pass on to the local foodbank.
Perth Road, Dundee, www.thelittlegreenlarder.com
GRAIN & SUSTAIN
This shop’s catchline is “Zero waste life in Fife”. Their owner, Louise Humpington (pictured top of page), worked in Papua New Guinea as the country director for an international NGO. “I saw at first hand the devastating impact that climate change and plastic pollution were having on our oceans and planet”. They offer over 500 food, household and bathroom refills, but also a few more unusual items, like US-style cookie mix, infused vinegars from St Andrews’ Little Herb Farm, Shropshire Seaweed organic fertilizer, plus freeze dried raspberries and dried porcini. They also won Environmental Shop of the Year at the Scotland Prestige Awards 2021.
“In just 18 months our customers have bought over 25000 kilos of products on refill and saved over 100000 pieces of plastic. It just goes to show that if everyone makes a few small changes, we can have a mighty impact”, says Humpington.
Unit 4, Bowhouse, Thurs-Sat, 10-3pm and on market weekends (second weekend of each month), Sat-Sun, 10-4pm; and 135 High Street, Burntisland, Fife www.grainandsustain.co.uk
We’re a bit scared of this plastic free and ethical shop’s new Trodden Black Chilli Death Jam, but we'll give it a whirl. We especially like this place’s clean design, with refill stations for dry goods, detergent and an area for fresh fruit and veg. In May, they opened a new shop at 119 St John’s Road, Corstorphine.
39 Newington Road, Edinburgh, www.therefillery.co.uk
This lot have recently opened a new Garnethill cafe and shop (134 Renfrew Street), which offers their range of loose food dispensers, organic and zero waste goods, including The Freedom Bakery bread, Dear Green coffee, Ramstane Farm eggs and produce from their own farm. They also have a Mossgiel Farm Milk Machine, so you can refill your own bottles, as if you were milking a robotic cow.
349 Victoria Road and 449 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, www.glasgowlocavore.org
WEIGH TO GO
Head here for refills on muesli, rice, pasta, eco-friendly detergent and even peanut butter. They also sell Scottish brands including Brose oat milk, IJ Mellis cheese, coffee from Unorthodox Roasters and fruit and veg boxes from charity, Cyrenians. “Going entirely plastic free is impossible time wise and financially for many people, so we like to think of the little affordable changes that people can make to help, like refilling herbs and spices”, says owner, Lucy Watters. You can identify them by the logo - a set of gold scales - on the window.
27 Crichton Place, Edinburgh, www.weightogo.co.uk