Zero Waste shopping or Bulk Shopping
Zero waste stores sell plastic-free items which help people reduce their own waste generation. These shops are selling everything from reusable items (like safety razors and stainless steel straws) to personal care products that come in zero waste packaging like reusable jars or compostable paper. Shops that minimise the environmental impact of our consumer habits are springing up across the world.
To start buying zero waste, you should have your own zero waste shopping kit. Basically these are zero waste swaps for your typical packing materials. It’s all about being organised and having this kit handy and ready for use (keep it always in your car) and planning your shopping.
Zero Waste Shopping in the UAE
In the UAE, there are almost all retailers that are offering a range of refillable products. Mostly, it’s nuts, gains, teas, oils, coffee, etc.
The local farmers market is also a great place to buy in bulk because the majority of their foods are sold package free and in bulk, and the vendors usually welcome customers bringing their own containers and bags.
A quick guide:
- Package free eggs, Fruits and Vegetable you can get from farmers. Check our Local Farms Category
- Bread: You can buy package-free bread in the stores, where they have their own bakery like Union-co-op, Waitrose, Spinneys, Carrefour just bring your own clean cotton bag or bee wax wrap or containers. Check also our Bakery Category for a quality bread
- Cheese, Olives, Pickles, Grains, Nuts, Dry Fruits:: You can always find options of package-free or you can find those counters for local Arabic cheese & pickles. Check our Bulk Shop Category and map for finding the closest for you
- Dish Washing soap refill station in Carrefour and GreenHeart Organic Farm shop
- Other natural and packaging free beauty and cosmetic products possible to find from the local markets, Ripe Market
- Opt for natural and ethical choices (see below):
What are the benefits of Zero Waste shopping?
Zero waste reduces our climate impact.
Reducing, reusing and recycling can be a key part of a climate change strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Zero waste conserves resources and minimizes pollution.
Our current culture of consumption is unsustainable. Extracting raw materials from natural spaces requires large amounts of energy and causes pollution, whether it is logging a forest, mining for minerals or drilling for oil. Processing these materials requires more energy and causes more pollution. Once they’re used, the goods are simply dumped in a landfill or destroyed in an incinerator.
In contrast, a zero waste approach conserves natural resources and reduces pollution from extraction, manufacturing and disposal. Reducing and reusing means fewer products are made, as people buy less and as products are made to last. Recycling keeps waste out of landfills and incinerators and provides manufacturers with recycled instead of raw materials to make new goods.
Zero waste promotes social equity and builds community.
A zero waste approach can build community capacity, support marginalized communities and protect community health.
A zero waste approach also protects the health of communities by reducing pollution in the air, water and soil by keeping toxics and waste out of landfills and incinerators.
Zero waste supports a local circular economy and creates jobs
Reducing and reusing materials create even more jobs in rental and sharing businesses (e.g. car-sharing, tool rental), repair and tailoring, and reuse businesses. Local money is spent on local jobs and stays within the community instead of leaving the community to buy imported products.