I started my third day (3rd June) of being single-use plastic free with my second venture into our local bulk-buy shop (I had a quick nose around it before the challenge started).
Inside there are lots of containers with scoops, including an actual pick ‘n’ mix for sweets (bonus!) although I did manage to resist them this time. You can get a good variety of stuff including dried fruits, muesli, washing powder (no eco-brands), salt, sugar and rice, but the organic options are limited to flour which I can buy in paper bags anyway.
The lady behind the till was friendly, helpful and not in the slightest bit judgemental about me bringing my own containers unlike when I had visited previously to enquire (different lady, different attitude). We soon established that although most of my containers (old takeaway tubs) were identical, the price she needed to deduct from each filled tub would depend on what it was filled with. She explained that this slight complication was due to them having a fancy hi-tech till rather than an old fashioned one. In reality, all this meant was that I had to tell her what I wanted to buy first, then she weighed the tub at the appropriate cost and wrote the amount on it that she would deduct at the end. For example, the tub for the bicarbonate of soda was 4p whereas for mixed nuts it was 23p, because their cost per 100g was different.
The good news is that once this has been done I either simply use the same tub with the label already on it next time, or write a list of the tub weight/product prices and take it with me. Good job we’ve had the odd takeaway in our time as we’re going to be using a lot of tubs! (I’m sure I’ll get to blogging about non-plastic container options at some point but for now I’m using the things which are already in our cupboards).
Whilst this might all sound like a big hassle, she did say that if I left all the tubs with her in future she’d fill them all and do the calculations so that I could simply pick them up later in the day. And to add to that, there’s the bonus that it is a genuinely cheaper way to buy many of these products.
I think we’re actually really lucky to have a bulk-buy shop nearby as I’ve been unable to locate any others. I’d be interested to know how common they actually are, so keep your eyes peeled and let me know!