Easy Swaps to Make Your Food Shop Plastic Free

plastic free shopping bags with produce inside

We’ve put together a few ideas about how to make your food shop plastic free.

Look around a supermarket and you’re often faced with a sea of plastic, from broccoli wrapped in plastic, to bananas in plastic bags. It’s not surprising that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year (Plastic Oceans).

How can we reduce the plastic in our food shop?

There are many ways you can reduce the plastic in your food shop and there’s no one size fits all. Just remember that this is a journey and won’t happen overnight, just take it slow and make the swaps that suit you best.

First look at where and how you shop? By changing this you can make plastic free food shopping easier for yourself.

Are you the sort of person that enjoys spending time shopping?

Then visiting local shops and farmers markets could be for you. These places often have a variety of plastic free produce. Looking at all the different produce can be fun and inspiring, plus you’ll be supporting local businesses.

There is a growth in refill, bulk buy and plastic free shops which offer great plastic free alternatives.

Even supermarkets are trialling plastic free shopping. Take for example Waitrose and their “Unwrapped”, Marks & Spencer with their “Fill your Own” and Morrisons with their plastic free fruit and veg aisles.

Markets Banner

Are you a busy worker and/or mum who doesn’t have the time to shop?

Fruit and Veg delivery boxes are a great way to get fresh, seasonal produce delivered to your door weekly and with far less plastic.

Thus reducing your plastic waste and negating the hassle of having to go out shopping.

Milk delivery in glass bottles is becoming increasingly popular.


Website Links


UK and Northern Ireland

A great resource for finding a suitable box scheme is the Soil Association website.

Zero Waste Near Me has an interactive map to help you find fruit & veg box schemes near you.


These companies deliver to a wide area in England. Input your postcode to see if they deliver to your area.

A great resource for finding a suitable box scheme is the Soil Association website.


The Soil Association has put together a great list of boxes for this area.

North England

There are lots of box schemes available and a comprehensive list can be found on the Soil Association website.

London and Brighton

The Soil Association has put together a great list of boxes for this area.


Bellfield Organids delivers to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife and a few other places. Find out more here.

Nova Blooms delivers to a variety of different places in Scotland. More information about the areas they deliver to can be found here.

There are so many producers and the Soil Association has a comprehensive list of boxes in Scotland.


The website Sustainable Living has a comprehensive list of fruit and veg boxes.


The Edinburgh Foody has a list of fruit and veg boxes.


The website “Our Local Larder” has a list of fruit and veg box schemes for Inverness.

There are so many fantastic local producers offering fruit and veg boxes and our list is really small. Mainly because our Ecosia search gave so many results and we ran out of space in this blog. Fruit and Veg boxes are so popular that an internet search will provide you with loads to choose from in your area.

Be prepared

One thing we’ve found helps reduce our plastic waste is making meal plans and getting exact quantities for ingredients. This helps us figure out which products are easy win plastic free. For example, flour usually always comes in paper. Fruit and veg can be plastic free and often pasta can be bought from plastic free shops or in bulk to reduce the amount of plastic.

We also found it helpful to go through our kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what we already had. This also has the bonus of reducing food waste.

Writing a shopping list before you go saves time as you don’t have to think about what you want to buy and can concentrate on finding shopping list items plastic free.

You may find that your diet changes as you slowly change your shopping habits and many people changing to a plastic free lifestyle choose to make their own food such as sauces.

If making your own food isn’t for you, don’t worry, there are lots of plastic free alternatives.

Easy Wins

Bread is one of the items some people find hard to buy plastic free, you can take one of our bread bags with you to put bread in, instead of using the plastic bags provided.

Often the meat and fish counters will let you use your own stainless steel containers for putting your produce in.

When you go to the deli counter, you may be able to take your own reusable containers. If the deli insists you use their plastic tubs, as it often helps with their portion sizes, you can wash the plastic tubs and reuse them.

Food Shopping Plastic Free

Keep a stash of shopping bags ready to grab before you go shopping and include fruit and veg bags, bread bags and reusable containers.

Remember, making your food shop plastic free shouldn’t cost you more, so reuse bags and containers that you already have.

Don’t feel guilty if you can’t find something completely plastic free, it’s just great that you’re making changes now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *