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Why we need more zero waste shops

February 21, 2022

People and governments around the world are waking up to the urgent need to save our environment. In recent years this gave rise to zero waste shops and the embrace of the circular economy. And we need more of this in our local communities.

The news on climate change can be less than encouraging. But there is still a lot of positive action around the world that could bring meaningful change. 

According to Greenpeace, the zero waste economy can increase human health and well-being. It can regenerate ecosystems, and create value for everyone involved. That is why we need more zero waste shops in our local communities.

But why all the fuss with zero waste? The problem is single use plastic.

Our oceans are drowning in plastic

Have you ever noticed how much of the plastic we collect from a regular food shop can’t be recycled? Most UK curbside recycling does not cover the types of plastic that we collect in our homes on a regular basis. These are plastics such as fruit packaging, coffee cups, and juice bottles.

Recycling most single-use plastics is inaccessible to consumers, who are left with the responsibility to dispose of this plastic waste mindfully. The zero waste shops provide the solution to this problem.

Single use plastic affects wildlife, and it contributes to our carbon footprint. The good news is that ditching single-use plastic is easier than you might think. This means that by embracing sustainable practices, consumers and businesses can make changes that will have a positive impact on the environment. 

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The zero waste economy is aimed at reducing single use plastic. Fortunately, its presence is growing around the world. More and more businesses are embracing sustainable practices across the UK.

Zero waste shops make it easier for consumers to reduce single use plastic and save money by buying exactly what they need.

There are many shops like this around the world and in the UK. Art of Zero Living is Greenwich’s first refill shop and it stocks more than 400 eco-friendly lines with sustainable, recyclable packaging.

The circular economy

Our refill shop operates with the principles of the circular economy which means that we reuse and recycle our materials, sending the least possible waste to landfill.

Circular economy suppliers work with zero waste shops, community projects and co-ops around the UK to reduce waste when restocking products. 

How does this work? We receive large reusable containers from suppliers who operate with the circular economy. We use the containers to refill our stock in the shop, which includes home cleaning, personal hygiene and some food products. When the containers are empty, we return them to the supplier who cleans and reuses them to deliver their products. This saves waste from manufacturing, stocking, and it also saves waste for our customers who chose these products. We work with UK based circular economy organisations like SESI Refill, Rollagranola, Refill and Refuel, and more. 

Visit us in our shop in Greenwich!

Visit our shop in beautiful Greenwich Market and fill up your empty containers with sustainable, organic, fair-trade and eco products: rice, pasta, legumes, pulses, beans, nuts, cereal, seeds, herbs, spices, baking, snacks, chocolate, tea, coffee, oil, vinegars, household and cleaning, hygiene and beauty, and much more.

For any queries please contact us at or we’d love to see you in our shop!
Find us at 7A Greenwich Market SE10 9HZ London  or 18 Royal Hill  SE10 8RT London

Opening Hours :


7A Greenwich Market             18 Royal Hill

Mon     Closed                          Mon    9 - 17

Tue       10 - 19                            Tue      9 - 17

Wed     10 - 19                            Wed    9 - 17

Thu      10 - 19                            Thu     9 - 17

Fri        10 - 18                            Fri       9 - 17

Sat       10 - 18                            Sat     8:30 - 17

Sun      10 - 17                            Sun     Closed           

Walking your dog? We're a dog friendly shop.
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