Author

Wendy Graham

Day Trips, Travel

12 Zero-Waste Shops In Glasgow To Know In 2022

Ditch plastic with this handy guide to 12 zero-waste and refill shops in Glasgow.

There’s a huge amount of rivalry between Scotland’s east and west coasts. As someone from the west coast who now lives on the east coast, I feel like I’m allowed to sit on the fence. I’d say that both Glasgow and Edinburgh are equally amazing in different ways. I love spending time in both cities. Ask me to choose a favourite, and honestly, it’s like asking me to choose a favourite child. It’s just not going to happen!

I’ve recently put together a guide to zero-waste shops in Edinburgh. So as to not show favouritism to the east coast, let’s turn our attention to the west coast, and shine a spotlight on Glasgow’s wide selection of refill and zero-waste shops.

The Zero-Waste Shops In Glasgow To Know

Flat lay of packaging free groceries with blue text box that reads the best zero-waste shops in Glasgow to know.

Zero-waste shops across the country are having a hard time. Glasgow has recently lost at least two zero waste shops – both Society Zero on Queen Margaret Drive and Ecomart in Patrick, so it’s never been more important to support local zero-waste shops where we can.

Here are my top zero-waste shops in Glasgow to know so you can find your local shop – whether you are a Glasgow local or visiting the city and need to stock up on supplies during your stay.

Locavore Glasgow

As a social enterprise, Locavore exists to help build a more sustainable local food system which is better for the local economy, the environment and the community. As well as recently opening up a zero-waste shop in Edinburgh in 2022, Locavore is well established in Glasgow, with three stores in Govanhill, Garnethill and Partick.

Selling a range of zero-waste refill goods, such as loose organic grains, pulses, flours, herbs and spices, just don’t forget to bring your jars and bags! The stores also sell loose fresh local and organic fruit and vegetables. What’s more, they also offer organic and local cheese, dairy and vegan-friendly dairy alternatives.

The Govanhill store also has a café, where you can eat delicious food at the only fully organic place to eat out within Glasgow. The café makes seasonal organic dishes following what is available from its market garden, as well as using up excess produce from the shop to prevent waste.

Find Locavore in Govanhill at 349 Victoria Rd, Glasgow G42 7SA.

The Garnethill store is at 134 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6ST.

Find the Partick store at 449 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, G11 6EJ.

Zero Waste Market Glasgow

Zero Waste Market's selection of refill spices in its Glasgow shop.

Zero Waste Market in Dennistoun is a great addition to Glasgow’s refill shop scene. Offering Glasgow residents everything they need to lead a low waste and sustainable lifestyle – from homewares to groceries – Zero Waste Market is a must-visit if you are in the Dennistoun area.

Bring along your containers to fill up on fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, pulses, oils, different kinds of vinegar, spices, cleaning products, baking ingredients and more. Vegetable boxes are also available for collection.

For convenience, spend £35 or more on your online grocery shop and those in certain Glasgow postcodes can get their order delivered by bicycle for only £2.99.

Find the Zero Waste Market shop at 17 Hillfoot Street, Glasgow G31 2LD.

The Good Choice

Mount Florida based The Good Choice sell organic, local, ethical and plastic-free groceries. This includes pet products, snacks and sweets, personal care, home cleaning, coffee and tea, as well as baking and cooking supplies. Bring your own containers and bags to refill, or click and collect online for convenience.

The Good Choice also offers a vegetable box scheme.

The Good Choice says that tackling waste is vital, but sustainability goes much further. As such, the Good Choice aims to choose products and suppliers that are among other things:

  • Environmentally friendly: including natural and organic products 
  • Sourced as locally as possible, to reduce transport emissions and support local communities.
  • Are socially, environmentally or community-oriented.

What’s more, Zero Waste Market partners with charities and social enterprises to make good use of any food surplus, to ensure its zero-waste shop really is zero-waste.

Find The Good Store’s zero-waste shop at 1031 Cathcart Rd, Mount Florida, Glasgow G42 9XJ.

Dandy’s Wholefoods

For those in the Clarkston area, the jauntily named Dandy’s Wholefoods caters for most of your refill needs.  As well as deli staples, the store also sells refill products. From eco-friendly cleaning products to baking and cooking staples all in refill formats. It also has a milk vending machine selling Mossgiel organic milk.

Find Dandy’s Wholefoods at 44 Busby Road, Clarkston, Glasgow, G76 7XJ.

Roots & Fruits

Person shopping for loose fruit and veg at Roots & Fruits.

Roots & Fruits’ main focus is on high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables. As such, this stunning looking shop is the place to go in the West End to pick up loose fruit and veg, deli staples and fresh bakery goods the plastic-free way.

If you’re not in the West End, the good news is that Roots & Fruits deliver veg boxes all over Glasgow. It has a wide range of deliciously fresh produce that it packs its veg boxes with, for all of your home recipes. 

Roots & Fruits also sell Brose Scottish made oat milk in glass bottles. Stocking both the Original and Barista styles in the Great Western Road shop, Roots & Fruits run a deposit and return scheme. When you bring your bottle back you get a £1 back and Roots & Fruits send the bottle back to them to be cleaned and reused.

Find Roots & Fruits at 455 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 8HH.

Find the Finnieston store at 1137 Argyle St, Finnieston, Glasgow G3 8ND.

Fresh ‘N’ Fruity

Whilst not strictly a zero-waste shop, if you are Mount Florida based, then Fresh ‘N’ Fruity is a great place to stock up on loose fresh fruit and vegetables. With a fantastic selection of fresh produce, alongside non-refill whole foods, fairtrade, organic, vegan, and gluten-free products, it’s a great place to stock up on fresh and tinned essentials.

Find Fresh ‘N’ Fruity at 5 Cumming Drive Mount Florida, Glasgow G42 9AE.

Neighbourhood

Inside the Neighbourhood Glasgow zero-waste shop.

For Shawlands locals, Neighbourhood is both a refill and low impact life store. Home to a wide range of zero-waste refill products – from food to cleaning products, you’ll also find a cafe and bakery, books, gifts, homewares and other ethical lifestyle products.

This dog-friendly shop is very welcoming to your four-legged friends. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see the owner’s beautiful dog too!

Find Neighbourhood at 8 Skirving Street, Shawlands, Glasgow G41 3AA.

Gavin’s Mill

For those of you living in and around Milngavie, then Gavin’s Mill has a whole host of zero waste dry foods, cleaning and personal care products.

Bring along any container that you like; a mason jar, jam jar, margarine tub, cotton bag, whatever. Gavin’s Mill says if it can be weighed, it can be used! If you ever forget to bring a container of your own, you could use one of Gavin’s Mill donated jars or paper bags.

Housed in a former corn mill, Gavin’s Mill also contains a fair trade shop, café and event space for community projects.

Find Gavin’s Mill at Gavin’s Mill Road, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 6NB. For anyone from out of town then my top tip of the day is that Milngavie is pronounced Mull-guy. It’s just Just so you know to help avoid any red faces if you need to ask anyone for directions, or buy a train or bus ticket!

Other Zero-Waste Shopping Opportunities In Glasgow

Whilst you couldn’t consider Asda as plastic-free or zero-waste shop, it’s worth noting that Asda at Toryglen in Glasgow is Asda’s first refill store in Scotland. Launched in September 2021, the refill section features an extensive range of branded and own-brand products sold in a loose format. This includes pasta, rice, tea, coffee and cereals. Bring your own containers, or if you forget, you can buy a reusable container in the store.

Asda vows that all unpackaged products will be the same price or cheaper than their packaged equivalents.

Find Asda Toryglen at 555 Prospecthill Road, Glasgow G42 0AE.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand wash refills, The Body Shop now offers a liquid refill service in its five Glasgow stores. The good news is that The Body Shop is no longer owned by L’Oreal, and the brand has gone back to its cruelty-free roots.

Find the participating refill stores at:

  • 46 St Enoch Shopping Centre, Glasgow, G1 4BW.
  • 10 Central Station, Glasgow, G1 3SQ.
  • Braehead Shopping Centre, 153 Kings Inch Road, Glasgow, G51 4BS.
  • Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre, Auchinlea Retail Park, Glasgow, G33 5AL.
  • Silverburn Shopping Centre, Glasgow, G53 6EQ.

Your Glasgow Zero-Waste Shops Recommendations?

Do you have any recommendations for zero-waste shops in Glasgow that I’ve missed? Do let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to add them here.

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Why More & More Brands Are Switching To Glass Packaging | AD

This post on glass packaging is paid-for content in association with Friends Of Glass.

Back in 2017, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 shocked us all into taking action on plastic pollution. After heartbreakingly watching turtles tangled in plastic netting, and albatross parents feeding plastic to their chicks, collectively we decided enough was enough.

The resulting global campaign to reduce plastic waste became one of the fastest-growing environmental causes ever mounted. We saw zero-waste shops popping up all over the place and campaigns against pointless single-use plastic.

Yet despite this, it hasn’t been quite enough to make a dent in the growing volume of discarded plastic that ends up in our seas and waterways. The amount of plastic that has ended up in our seas has grown and is to set to grow.

Plastic waste in the sea.

One of the biggest reasons for this increase is that whilst the public is on board with reducing plastic, progress has been severely hindered by a lack of commitment from global leaders. It wasn’t until March of this year that leaders from 175 countries agreed to a legally binding global treaty to end the plastic pollution crisis by tackling the material’s entire supply chain. Work now begins on how to implement the treaty by 2024.

What’s Causing The Plastic Problem?

A big part of the problem is that brands keep producing more and more plastic. It’s cheap to produce plastic, and it’s even cheaper to make products from virgin plastic rather than recycled plastic. Many brands claim that it’s ok because plastic is recyclable.

However, it has never been clearer that we can’t simply just recycle our way out of the plastic waste problem. According to the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development), globally, fewer than 10% of plastics are recycled.  Of the plastic that isn’t recycled, 76% ends up in landfills and then the rest is incinerated. This causes toxic emissions as well as releases carbon dioxide (CO2) – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change – into the atmosphere.

The Brands Switching To Glass Packaging

A person holding a glass jar of moisturiser with a blue text box that reads why more and more brands are switching to glass packaging. It's also marked as an AD.

The good news is that a growing number of forward-thinking and environmentally conscious brands are switching away from plastic packaging to bring about positive environmental change. Instead, they are choosing 100% and endlessly recyclable glass jars, which are encouraged by Friends of Glass, an advocacy group that promotes the environmental, health and safety benefits of glass packaging.

Switching to glass packaging from plastic is one way that brands are helping to foster change. It’s also an effective way for brands to easily communicate their eco-friendly and health-conscious credentials.

And as well as switching to glass, some brands are also offering refill options so that customers can refill their glass jars to reduce waste and encourage packaging reuse.

These include:

Elemis

Luxury beauty brand Elemis has recently introduced its own refill scheme. Customers can return their empty packaging to a participating retailer, either in-store or by post. The packaging is then cleaned and sent back to the retailer, either pre-refilled or ready for an in-store refill.

The packaging is made using steel, glass and/or washable plastics, and has a “smart tracking “system so it can be scanned across the value chain.

Beauty Kitchen

The Scottish beauty brand, Beauty Kitchen, packages all of its skincare products in recycled glass jars. When you are done, simply return the jars to Beauty Kitchen via post or any Holland & Barrett store, and Beauty Kitchen will wash and reuse them.

Chanel

Chanel has recently launched its ‘Revitalising Cream’ – the firm’s first refillable beauty product. Packaged in a glass pot, the cream sits in a bio-plastic based inner pot. This inner pot can be switched out with a refill that costs £13 less than the initial product. Refills will be sold online and in stores.

Brushd

Brushd, the eco dental company, make a range of plastic-free dental hygiene products. This includes toothpaste tablets and mouthwash tablets that come in glass jars.

When your toothpaste or mouthwash jar is empty, there’s no need to put it in the glass recycling. Instead, you can buy refill tablets that come in a cardboard container. Simply empty that into your glass jar, to help protect the tablets from moisture in your bathroom, and you’re good for another month.

What’s So Great About Glass Packaging?

dried fruit in glass jars

Glass is a much more sustainable choice than plastic for a whole host of reasons.

According to Friends of Glass:

  1. Glass has an endless life.  It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality. It can take just 30 days for your bottle or jar to return as a new bottle or jar to the store shelf.
  2. Even if glass does end up in the sea, it will ultimately turn back into harmless sand.
  3. Glass is non-toxic. Unlike plastic bottles, it does not contain harmful chemicals that may migrate into food and drink or your health and beauty products.
  4. Modern glass bottles and jars are typically up to 40% lighter yet stronger thanks to new manufacturing processes.
  5. Recycling glass saves energy and reduces CO2. We can reduce harmful emissions and save on raw materials by using recycled glass to make new bottles and jars. In fact, for every tonne of glass that is recycled, this saves 580kg of CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, recycling a single glass bottle can save 36.9 W/H of electricity. This is enough to charge your phone over six times.

Due to the many benefits of glass, 2022 has also been designated as the UN International Year of Glass. This year-long global celebration pays homage to the essential role that glass plays in society.

What Can You Do To Help Support This Movement?

To help support the switch to glass, if you can, choose glass packaging where it is available to show brands there is a demand for products housed in glass.

If there are no glass options available, you can ask your favourite brands to switch to glass. After all, glass reduces waste, protects the environment and safeguards your health.

The Friends of Glass community believes that many families and retailers are unaware of these benefits of glass, and so want to spread the word.  Follow Friends of Glass to find out more about glass. You can also help by joining the ever-growing number of glass advocates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help add your voice and to join the conversation.