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7 places to cut your plastic waste in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 19:30 13 January 2020

Ernie's Zero Waste Store in Magdalen Street, Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Ernie's Zero Waste Store in Magdalen Street, Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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If cutting your plastic footprint is one of your resolutions for 2020, here are some places in Norwich which can help.

Rainbow Wholefoods in Labour in Vain Yard. Picture: Neil DidsburyRainbow Wholefoods in Labour in Vain Yard. Picture: Neil Didsbury

1 Re.Source, Timberhill

Low waste plant-based general store and zero waste cafe Re.Source was opened by Cata Parrish in April last year in response to scenes in the final episode of Blue Planet II which brought home the impact plastic pollution is having on wildlife.

The shop offers a range of dry food, including pulses, rice and pasta, household goods such as laundry detergents and shampoos, oils, a deli with homemade plant-based milks, cheeses and butter and fruit and vegetables from local growers.

Customers are served like in a greengrocers or village shop, where you ask for the amount you need and staff weigh it and put into containers brought from home.

Lush at intu Chapelfield. Picture: Rosanna ElliottLush at intu Chapelfield. Picture: Rosanna Elliott

The cafe has a small, seasonal menu and the shop also sells locally-sourced gifts and homewares.

2 Ernie's Zero Waste Store, Magdalen Street

Whatever's on your shopping list, from dried pasta to flour, rice, pulses and nuts to spices, oils and coffee, at Ernie's Zero Waste Store all you need to do is take your own jars or tubs along, fill them up at the dispensers, weigh them on the scales and pay. The brainchild of Graham Rutherford and Laura Colman, all items on sale are vegan and along with consumables the shop also stocks shampoo, conditioners and household cleaning products which are all chemical-free as well as items such as plastic-free cotton buds, greetings cards made from recycled paper, and reusable cotton face wipes.

3 The Green Grocers, Earlham Road

The Green Grocers in Earlham Road has been championing a more sustainable way of living, including reducing waste, for more than a decade. Selling a wide range of organic and local products, they have 40 hoppers filled with everyday essentials including nuts, seeds, pulses, cereals and rice so you can take along your own containers and buy the exact amount you need. They also have a re-fill station where you can top up with laundry liquid, cleaning products, soap, shampoo and conditioner.

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4 Rainbow Wholefoods, Labour in Vain Yard, Guildhall Hill

Rainbow Wholefoods first opened in 1976, and is believed to be one of the UK's longest established wholefood shops. Now back in their premises in Labour in Vain Yard after a fire in 2018, in addition to being 100 per cent vegetarian, with a focus on organic produce, they are helping to reduce the amount of single use plastics in the environment by offering refills on Ecover cleaning products and Faith in Nature's haircare range.

5 Lush, intu Chapelfield

Cosmetics company Lush is reducing its plastic footprint with its Naked collection - a range of soaps and shower gels, shampoos and conditioners, face cleansers, deodorants and body butters which come in solid bar form with no plastic packaging. Store them in your own containers to keep them fresh - or you can buy cork pots and tins from the store. They also do plastic packaging free make-up, including solid foundations and concealers in an inclusive range of shades, lipstick refills and highlighters.

6 Tofurei, Pottergate

Tucked away in the Lanes, micro soya dairy Tofurei encourages customers to save on packaging waste by bringing their own containers to carry their deli products home in and their fresh soya milk can be taken away in reusable glass bottles.

7 Wilkinson's of Norwich, Lobster Lane

Hands up if you'd been merrily throwing your used teabags into the compost bin after your brew thinking you were doing good. Us too - but it turns out that they might have contained small amounts of plastic.

That is changing, with manufacturers searching out more eco-friendly alternatives, but in the meantime, why not consider swapping to loose leaf tea for your afternoon cuppa? Wilkinson's of Norwich, stocks a fantastic range of leaf and fruit teas, including their own in-house blends. And if coffee is your preferred pick me up, they roast small batches of beans every day - you can't get fresher than that.


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