Zero waste shop boss reveals how to go plastic-free on a budget amid deposit warning for single-use bottles and cans

The boss of a 'zero waste' shophas revealed the best ways to cut plastic use in London aspeople in England have been warned they couldsoon have to pay deposits for single-use bottles and cans.

The deposit scheme wouldincrease prices of widely-used goods in part of a bid to boost recycling and reduce waste – though consumers will get their money back if they return the container- writes

Ahead of the scheme – which is expected to cover glass and plastic bottles and steel and aluminium cans – MakaylaDrummond, ownerof The Source Bulk Foods store in west London,claims that preparation is key to embarking on a plastic-free life.

She said: “The best way to live a zero waste lifestyle is to ensure you are prepared.

Reusable jars in the Source Bulk Foods shop in Chiswick (Source Bulk Foods)

“Food is one of the major areas in life where there is an overzealous use of plastic. I usually bring food with me from home.

"I also carry around a nice roll-up pack of cutlery, a water bottle, one container, some produce bags and a fold up shopping bag. All of this means that I don’t get caught accepting single-use plastic.

“For grocery shopping I try to go to independent produce stores, farmers markets or only select plastic-free produce at the supermarkets.

"Having The Source Bulk Foods store has solved all my food cupboard staple items such as lentils, rice, flours, dried fruits, pasta nuts and even confectionery”.

But the appeal of a zero-waste lifestyle has been trumped by low-priced supermarkets selling fruit, vegetables and other goods in single-use plastic bags, containers and cans.

Revealing how to cut plastic use on the cheap, Makayla added: “My tips for budget-conscious zero wasters would be to shop around where possible and compare prices, and get tips from Facebook groups that tend to share lots of information.

Relaying her top tips for Londoners, she said: “Carry a water bottle, coffee cup, spork and a foldaway shopping bag with you every day. It may sound excessive, but I drink one coffee a day, so that’s saving 365 disposable coffee cups a year.

“Also make sure to plan ahead. My husband and I plan meals for the week and go shopping with a list, so that we don’t have to dash to a supermarket for a last minute item that is likely to be sold in plastic.

"Also, have some quick go to recipes such as soups, stir-fries, curries or stews that you can make using a few easy to find vegetables. It will be healthier than a take-out and you would be surprised how quick and easy they can be to make”.

And think big when it comes to the weekly shop. “Shop at bulk food stores such as the Source Bulk Foods. By supporting these companies to grow we can expand our offering, deliver more value and in turn provide consumers with better alternatives”, Makaylaadded.

Londoners could start their zero waste mission by simply starting with refusing single-use plastic items such as your daily coffee cup, water bottles and plastic bags.

Ensuring these simple changes will make a huge difference, Makayla added: “If Londoners stop using these items, the impact on the planet would be dramatic. There’s around nine million people in London that’s a lot of daily coffee cups we could stop producing and throwing away.

“Small changes to our routines and habits make a difference. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. To make just one change to your daily routines. Just imagine if we all made one change”.

The government announcement regarding the drink bottle deposit comes after the Blue Planet II series highlighted the threat of ocean pollution and showed footage of wildlife eating plastic.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that plastic was undoubtedly “wreaking havoc” on the marine environment. He added that discarded bottles and cans "end up dumped on pavements and lobbed into rivers, lakes and the sea”

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