We are a family from Plymouth hoping to bring zero waste shopping to our beautiful city through a new shop: Jar.
Shopping in a zero waste shop means bringing your own reusable containers to fill with just as much as you'd like of each food, and paying for your food by weight. Reducing packaging and food waste both have a positive impact on the environment.
We ran a survey earlier this year to make sure we were on the right track and were overwhelmed by the positive responses from so many of you who want to be able to shop waste-free in Plymouth.
... we've heard from so many people who can't wait to shop like this in Plymouth!
How can you help?
Photo: Gravity dispensers and self-weigh scales at Another Weigh zero waste shop @AnotherWeighPenrith
Fun Stuff We now need your help to buy the zero waste equipment (as pictured) that will make the shop amazing and give you a great experience when shopping with us. In response to your feedback we hope to buy specialist first in first out gravity dispensers and self-weigh scales that will improve the speed and ease with which you can use the shop.
Boring Stuff We'll pay for this, because it's boring! This includes building and business set-up costs, loads of stock to get Jar up and running, and subsidising the first years rent to make sure we have plenty of time to grow the shop to a point at which it is sustainable.
How will the funds be used? All money raised through crowd funding, approximately 50% of our total budget, will be used to fit out the shop.
Image: Chart showing how our funds will be spent, we will contribute 50% for all the boring stuff, 26% of funds raised will pay for the specialist dispensers, 18% for scales and a till system, and 6% for other shop fittings and hardware.
Anyone will be welcome to shop with us, but members will pay a discounted price on dry foods as a thanks for being a regular. Members can also sign up for discounted events, and we would love to stay in touch with you to help us decide how to grow the shop. You can become a member at a discounted price by joining us now and supporting our Crowdfunder, so why not join us right from the start?
Image: Table of membership prices. Membership gives 10% discount on dry foods, normal price is £30, discounted Crowdfunder price £25. Students & Over 65s pay £20 normally, discounted to £15 for the Crowdfunder.
What will we sell?
We will stock a wide selection of sustainable products, focussing on things that can't be purchased plastic or waste free in other local shops. This will include store cupboard foods, fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, self care and cleaning refills as well as zero waste home and lifestyle products.
Shopping at Jar will help you to reduce your environmental footprint while also supporting local producers and makers, as locally produced is about as sustainable as you can get in terms of food/product miles. We also want to give back to the community by supporting local environmental causes - we will donate at least 10% of our profits to local environmental charities on an ongoing basis.
We believe that access to zero waste shopping in Plymouth will directly help reduce the amount of waste sent for disposal in our city, and reduce the amount that ends up in our streets and on our beaches.
We will prioritise locally grown produce and locally made products where we can, to support other small businesses. We will also work hard to ensure that our products are sustainable in their production, transport and packaging, and that they come from ethical and cruelty free producers. We will always strive to choose the lowest waste, most ethical products, and make them as affordable as possible to our community. We will provide details of the origins of everything we sell.
In addition we hope to run workshops about zero waste living, cooking with whole foods, using produce available in our shop, sharing ideas and recipes.
Photo: Jars and produce bags
Our zero waste journey so far
We spend a lot of time at the beach, often filling a bucket with litter, and have always been environmentally conscious, but two years ago we discovered the concept of zero waste. The aim of moving towards a zero waste life is to break away from the linear economy (where items are purchased, used, and thrown away) in favour of a more circular economy, where items are bought to last, reused and repurposed.
It is estimated that each household in the UK produces a tonne of waste each year. All of this waste has to be either sent to landfill, incinerated or recycled. Each of these has an environmental cost, and whenever we are able to reduce or reuse what we buy we make less waste, and reduce the impact on our local and global environment.
We love Earth Food Love, the UK’s first zero waste shop in Totnes, and have long wished a similar shop would open in Plymouth. Last year we decided we could be the ones to do it! We got in touch with the growing, and very supportive, community of people opening zero waste shops up and down the UK to learn from their experiences, and Jar was formed.
Much single use packaging, especially plastic, can't be recycled, and where it can be, recycling also carries an environmental cost. In a zero waste shop you can buy products in your own reusable containers so you only take home the food, and nothing else to throw away. This is beneficial to the environment if the zero waste shop can purchase the products either in non-plastic packaging, or in bulk such that packaging is reduced, or best of all in returnable packaging that is reused by the distributor or manufacturer. More and more manufacturers are coming on board with circular supply of goods, where containers can be returned and reused. This saves both the environmental cost of producing the packaging and the cost in throwing it away or recycling it.
We are really enjoying our journey to reduce waste; by making one small change at a time, it feels achievable. We look forward to sharing tips and ideas for reducing waste and would love to bring together the local community to help each other make better choices.
Thanks for reading! Please follow our journey and feel free to contact us using...