Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

"Множественность интерпретаций и даже конфликт интерпретаций являются не недостатком или пороком, а достоинством понимания, образующего суть интерпретации." П.Рикер ©
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With Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s War on Plastic on the BBC, the government’s new £4-million Food Waste Fund, exhibitions such as the V&A’s Bigger than the Plate, and entire cities and regions (Ljubljana, Flanders, Milan, Sardinia, the Croatian island of Zlarin) declaring themselves officially zero waste, it feels like everyone is talking about using up food scraps and plastic-free living.

But it can feel like an intractable problem when faced with tides of packaging each time we enter a supermarket. How can you tell if the chef who cooked your dinner gives a damn about how the ingredients were wrapped? One answer is shopping in dedicated zero-waste groceries, and another is to actively seek out sustainable restaurants and bars. Andrew Stephen, CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which publishes countrywide ratings for all its members, says, ‘If the chef values food as much as you do, there should be obvious nods to nose-to-tail and root-to-fruit cooking on the menu as well as lashings of pickles and preserves – using up every part of the valuable produce. Tap water should be a given, but what about the leftovers on your plate – will the staff offer to wrap them for you at the end of the meal?’

Here are some of the best switched-on places in London and around the UK.

To find out more, see zerowastenear.me.

London

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Bean and Wheat, Hoxton

    Chef Adam Handling’s two addresses feed off each other, with café and bar Bean & Wheat using up ingredients from the previous day’s dinner service at nearby restaurant Frog, which would otherwise be wasted – such as beautiful salads made from offcuts of cauliflower, or pickles, preserves and cocktails made from trimmings. Buy glass jars of his famous chicken butter and return empties for a free coffee.

    Address: Bean and Wheat, 45-47 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PD.


    Telephone: +44 20 3802 2190


    Website: beanandwheat.co.uk

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Cub, Hoxton

    Polymath bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan, famous for best-bar-in-the-world Dandelyan, White Lyan, Lyaness and so on) teamed up with zero-waste chef Doug McMaster, from Silo in Brighton, to create Cub. Although not vegetarian, their picture-perfect, clever food is skewed towards plants and when meat is used, it’s a conscientious choice – such as wild garlic and greens with kid (an under-used byproduct of the goat’s cheese industry), or bone broth with artichoke.

    Address: Cub, 153 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ


    Telephone: +44 20 3693 3202


    Website: lyancub.com

  • Silo, Hackney Wick

    This is a 100 per cent zero-waste restaurant that describes itself as adopting a pre-industrial food system, or a more primitive way of eating: its mission statement is that it was ‘designed with the bin in mind’. Having moved from Brighton to London in 2019, the talented team, led by Doug McMaster, creates dishes that feel luxurious, not worthy (pollock with crab emulsion; pheasant with preserved berries), proving that being ethical is far from boring or parsimonious.

    Address: Silo, The White Building, Unit 7 Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN


    Telephone: +44 20 8533 3331


    Website: silolondon.com


    Read our full review of Silo now.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Nine Lives, Bermondsey

    This subterranean bar is all about avoiding unnecessary air-freighting and quick-to-perish ingredients. Drinks are served with re-usable bamboo straws and many of the garnishes are grown in the little garden here, along with fruits including rhubarb. Anything that can be recycled is picked up by the excellent Paper Round, and the team works with local businesses to co-ordinate collections and minimise traffic.

    Address: Nine Lives, 8 Holyrood Street, London SE1 2EL


    Telephone: +44 20 7407 8226


    Website: ninelivesbar.com

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Native, Borough

    You would barely know the fabulous tasting menu here is created from foraged, forgotten or zero-waste ingredients (apart from – just maybe – the delicious squirrel pastry, which uses culled squirrel meat). Founders Ivan Tisdall (chef) and Imogen Davis (front-of-house and falconry, really) work hard with British ingredients such as alexander leaf and nettles. To ensure almost nothing goes in the bin, they allow junior chefs to conjure up snacks and starters, using offcuts from main dishes.

    Address: Native, 2 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TU


    Telephone: +44 7507 861570


    Website: eatnative.co.uk

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Hetu, Clapham

    For feel-good shopping: vegan, zero waste and very carefully chosen food and drink products (plus low-impact cleaning and personal care refillables). Hetu launched in 2017, when founder Laura Boyes returned home from Sydney, where low-waste shopping was more accessible. Bring your own containers and fill them with anything from peanuts to popcorn. (Laura’s favourite receptacle so far? A pillowcase full of pasta.)

    Address: Hetu, 201 St John’s Hill, London SW11 1TH


    Telephone: +44 7391 700816


    Website: hetu.co.uk

    Bulk Market, Hackney

    A social enterprise as well as a well-stocked store right by Hackney Central, Bulk Market will soon be selling zero-waste pet food, frozen foods and beer and wine, alongside its already wide range. If you don’t have a local food-waste collection scheme, bring your scraps here and the team will process them for you in their industrial composter.


    Arch 6 Bohemia Place, London E8 1DU https://www.bulkmarket.uk/

    Address: Bulk Market, Arch 6 Bohemia Place, London E8


    Website: bulkmarket.uk

    OUT OF LONDON:

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Poco, Bristol

    Eco chef and food writer Tom Hunt has won numerous sustainability awards for this lovely little British tapas restaurant and no wonder: the team weigh the rubbish bags at the end of every service to monitor waste, keep an eye on which elements from dishes repeatedly come back as leftovers and adapt the menu accordingly, and they run ‘rescue recipes’ when necessary – so if a fresh product such as mackerel isn’t selling, they turn it into something longer lasting, such as semi-cured escabeche.

    Address: Poco, 45 Jamaica Street, Bristol BS2


    Telephone: +44 117 9232233


    Website: pocotapasbar.com

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Clean Kilo, Birmingham

    Britain’s largest zero waste supermarket opened in 2017, founded by Jeanette Wong and Tom Pell, and encourage customers to bring their own containers to fill with cereals, pasta, tea and flour, and various fruit and veg. ‘We believe it is important to vote with the power in our pockets when shopping – demand creates supply and vice versa,’ says Wong. ‘Buy only the amount you need to help reduce food waste, shop as locally as possible to support your community and cut your carbon footprint, and buy items loose or unpackaged whenever you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right all the time, but do always try; the more awareness we have, the better our decisions become.’

    Address: Clean Kilo, 1 Gibb Street, Birmingham B9


    Telephone: +44 121 389 3473


    Website: thecleankilo.co.uk


  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

    As well as having a garden where up to 40 per cent of the plants, salads and herbs that the kitchen needs is grown, this two-Michelin-starred restaurant also uses a digester to turn any food waste which does escape the kitchen into compost. Which then goes into the garden, closing the loop. The 10-course tasting menu that Bains labours over is worth travelling for.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Natural Weigh, Wales

    This was the first zero-waste shop in Wales, and proves you don’t need to be in a big city to access a better kind of shopping – Crickhowell won Britain’s best high street in 2018, due to its complete lack of chains and supermarkets. As with many of our favourites here, the Natural Weigh’s team runs an excellent blog, full of ideas for lower-waste living, such as how to host a plastic-free party.

    Address: Natural Weigh, The Corn Exchange, 54 High Street, Crickhowell NP8


    Telephone: +44 1873 269493


    Website: naturalweigh.co.uk

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Ripple Living, Cardiff

    When Ripple opened, it was so popular that everything sold out in just five days. Shop for everything from re-usable cotton tea bags (for loose leaf tea) to Breton tops, jeans and pinafore dresses by Lucy and Yak, as well as all the usual, carefully sourced dried goods.

  • The Eco Larder, Edinburgh

    Co-founder Stephanie Foulds is on a mission to get everyone using reusable coffee cups. ‘Less than one per cent of coffee cups in the UK are recycled,’ she says. ‘They are often too contaminated and lined with plastic to make them waterproof, meaning the materials are hard to separate. They have to be taken to special facilities, only three of which exist in the UK.’ Look out for the free workshops the shop hosts, on topics such as making your own cleaning products. It’s also a one-stop shop for household essentials including soap, sponges, bread and ingredients from spices and seeds to pasta and pulses.

    Address: The Eco Larder, 200 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3


    Website: theecolarder.com


  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    The Good Lyfe, Cornwall

    Prepare to leave with a bag full of gorgeous homewares when you only went in for lentils – even the scrubbing brushes at here are beautiful. The Good Lyfe was founded as a response to the horrifying amount of plastic that washes up on local beaches. Appropriately, along with bamboo and corn cutlery, toothbrushes and skincare, it also stocks particularly delicious Cornish sea salt – loose, of course.

    Address: The Good Lyfe, 9 Fore Street, Newquay, Cornwall TR7


    Website: thegoodlyfe.co.uk

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Scroll down for more photos of zero-waste shops and restaurants in London and around the UK…

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    The dining room at Native in Borough.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    A cocktail at Nine Lives.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Nine Lives

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Bean & Wheat, run by Adam Handling, along with Frog.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    A dish at Cub.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    The dining room at Cub.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Cub

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    The Good Lyfe, Cornwall

  • The Good Lyfe, Cornwall

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Bulk Market, London.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Silo, London.

  • Silo, London.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Clean Kilo, Birmingham.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Ripple Living, Cardiff.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Poco, Bristol.

  • Where to go zero-waste in London and around the UK

    Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham.