Kicking off sustainability week on March 2nd, UON’s very own zero waste shop, Portland Zero, opened its doors to the public.
Located on B floor of the SU, opposite Spar and adjacent to Boots, the refill grocery store offers host to a variety of goods from dried fruit and nuts, to pasta and rice, and everything in between. The shop also has a collection of plastic free household products too, such as deodorants, soaps, and washing-up liquid!
The idea is to bring along a refillable container – be it a jar, tub, or paper bag – and replenish ingredients in your cupboards entirely packaging free
The idea is to bring along a refillable container – be it a jar, tub, or paper bag – and replenish ingredients in your cupboards entirely packaging free! They also offer Kilner-jars and paper bags at a reasonable price if you forget to bring one to campus with you. Simply bring in your empty container, weigh it on the scales, and print a barcode.
Next, fill your container with your desired food, select your food-type from the screen on the scales, and scan the barcode to deduct the weight of your empty container. Now, weigh your full container and print off the new barcode. Take it to the till where the friendly staff with take your payment; you can even pay by card as well!
Despite the deceptive size of the shop, they offer an array of wholefoods, snacks, and staple ingredients – the list below gives you an idea of just a few you can purchase!
Dried herbs and spices – cumin, chilli powder, dried herbs – you name it, you’ll find it here.
Beans – kidney beans, blackeye beans, basically every type of dried bean imaginable.
Rice and grains – rice, couscous, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa – so many health foods you might never buy pasta again!
Pasta – although, you can of course stock up on your favourite student carb.
Dried fruit – mango, banana chips, sultanas, goji berries – this selection is sure to tempt you.
Staple ingredients – flour, sugar, salt – all the essentials!
Oils – olive, vegetable, sunflower, and there’s vinegar too – all at a fraction of the price of supermarkets.
Cereals – porridge oats or coco pops; there’s no excuse to skip breakfast.
Household products – stock up your old bottles with the easy-to-use pumps for shampoo, conditioner, and washing-up liquid. There’s also eco-friendly deodorant and toilet roll, as well as beeswax wraps which make a great alternative to clingfilm!
What with the recent threat of stockpiling in light of the coronavirus outbreak leaving supermarket shelves bare, you can be sure to depend on Portland Zero for your shopping while also making an environmentally conscious decision too! On top of that, you’ll be benefitting your wallet. To grasp an idea of their student-friendly prices, I filled a Sainsbury’s cumin jar for which I originally paid a pound, for just 23p!
Thanks to the work of Lee Taylor, the Environmental and Social Justice officer, our SU has taken another small step to making a bigger environmental impact
The shop has materialised in the wake of students’ concerns about sustainability. Thanks to the work of Lee Taylor, the Environmental and Social Justice officer, our SU has taken another small step to making a bigger environmental impact. And, being part-funded by the university’s drink-cup levy scheme across cafes, we also have ourselves to thank for contributing towards this fantastic addition to our students’ union.
The shop is open Monday to Friday, 10 – 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday, 12-4pm.
Follow them on Instagram: @portland.zero
Featured image courtesy of Frédérique Voisin-Demery via Flickr. Image license found here.
Article images courtesy of Portland Zero’s instagram account.
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