Introducing new ways to shop sustainably
A new zero-waste shop has opened at the University, offering a range of goods that are completely free from single-use plastic packaging.
Identifying the issue
When thinking about how customers shop for products on campus, it was found that a barrier to people engaging in more sustainable practises was the lack of sustainable alternatives.
Often, products being sold were packaged in non-recyclable materials, and the containers used to carry the products were also made from the same.
Portland Zero products
Portland Zero is a permanent addition to the retail outlets in the Portland Building and opened its doors at the start of the university’s Sustainability Week (2 – 7 March).
It stocks a huge variety of products from nuts, cereals, grains and oils to eco -friendly cleaning products and toiletries, all of which are free from plastic packaging.
It also offers a range of wholefoods that are sold by weight, so customers can buy as much or as little as they need and can use their own containers, pick up a recyclable paper bag, or invest in a reusable jar or lunchbox.
There’s a refill station where people can fill up bottles with liquid products including oils and vinegars. Refilling is not only cheaper and better for the environment, but it’s also a great alternative to buying a new plastic bottle every time you run out.
How the shop was funded
The shop was part-funded by money raised through the university’s latte levy scheme which put an extra 20p onto every drink purchased in a disposable cup, in a bid to encourage the use of reusable cups.
The latte levy helped to save more than 75,000 cups and raised over £60,000 in 2018/19 – money which is being reinvested into more interventions to reduce waste.
Watch the launch of Portland Zero on ITV News