Top Tips for a zero waste meal

Posted by smol on


 “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” 

What Anne-Marie Bonneau said. 

Because let’s face it, UK supermarkets make it pretty darned difficult to buy produce without a LOT of packaging. 

An 18-Month project from WRAP to study food waste in the home and the use of plastic packaging has overturned the idea that supermarket packaging keeps food fresh. In fact, it shows that selling loose has HUGE potential to reduce food waste. 

So we thought we’d channel the queen of zero waste cooking and bring you our 5 top tips for creating a zero waste meal. 

1. Head to your local grocers, market or zero waste store.

It’s going to make it a LOT easier to ditch all that extra plastic packaging around your food. Most of the produce is sold loose so there’s no extra waste involved. And if you can choose fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables it’s going to be best for you and better for the planet. 

2. Take your own shopping bags and produce bags.

smol tote bag hanging in a door


Preferably ones made from cloth as they won’t shed microplastics, but regardless, the key aim here is to have a bag that’s reused time and time again. You’ll want a set for the actual food and then a bag to carry these produce bags in. 

3. Bring your own jars or metal containers. 

You’ll need these in a zero waste shop or refill store for foods such as pasta, rice and pulses. Firstly, you should work out the weight of your container so it can be removed from the final weigh-in once it’s full of food. So remember to weigh it once it’s empty.  Zero waste shops will have at least one set of scales for customers to use and many will print labels to stick on your jar so you know what it weighs.

4. Stick to your list.

Avoid those impulse purchases. Shops are great at making us think we need things we don’t! Make a list of the exact items you need and try your best to stick to it because this can really help to eliminate a lot of waste. And if you can shop more frequently, you’ll stay in control of what you need food-wise each day which means LESS margin for error and over buying.

5. Let us clean up.

smol washing up liquid, dishwash tabs and sponges on a shelf


When it comes to the washing up we’ve got a zero waste answer. Our plant-powered washing up liquid comes in 100% recycled plastic bottles that can be returned for FREE to us for refill. Alternatively there’s our award-winning dishwasher tablets that come in a recyclable cardboard pack, pop it in your kerbside recycling or add it to your compost. 

So there you have it. Our 5 top tips for a zero waste meal. So what’s on the menu tonight? 

P.S. here’s an extra top tip.

Don’t beat yourself up when bits of plastic packaging do enter your shop. Nobody is perfect and zero waste shopping is pretty tricky for a lot of us. Each smol step we can take makes a difference so celebrate the wins you do make!


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