Join the refill revolution by shopping at these plastic-free grocers
We’ve rounded up some of South Africa’s top plastic-free grocers.
The global move towards reducing consumers’ reliance on single-use plastic packaging is also becoming a viable option for eco-conscious South African shoppers wishing to do their part when it comes to reducing the impact plastic waste has on our planet. With a staggering 94% of all beach litter in SA consisting of plastic, of which 77% is packaging, choosing to buy from stores that are doing away with these types of packaging will go a long way towards reducing the plastic crisis our world is facing. We’ve rounded up some of the country’s top plastic-free grocers, most of which also have online stores.
- The Refillery launched Joburg’s first plastic-free grocer at their flagship store in Cedar Square in Fourways, and has since opened the doors to three more stores in the city, plus one in Pretoria. Bring your own jar and stock up on all your planet-friendly and ethically-sourced pantry essentials and even cleaning supplies. Forgot your jars at home? All stores sell a range of glass containers, and if you simply don’t need more jars, there’s also complimentary recycled brown paper bags to choose from. Don’t want to leave the house? Order online and make use of their convenient Home Delivery service.
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- The Nest Space’s zero-waste grocer in Greenside stocks eco-friendly and healthy produce, pantry staples, and health and beauty supplies. All items in store are zero waste, meaning they either have no packaging, reusable packaging (like glass) or biodegradable packaging that won’t harm the earth. Shoppers can bring their own containers from home (or buy reusable containers from the store) and fill them up with their products of choice, all sold by weight. They also offer a weekly organic fresh produce box subscription.
- Good Source in Hillcrest not only stocks all your favourite healthy and ethically sourced store cupboard and household staples to fill your own vessels, but also a wide range of seasonal organic and conventional fruit and veggies, freshly baked breads, deli meats (grass-fed and hormone-free) and locally-sourced cheeses. Stay for coffee or a light meal at their café, which will also soon offer a range of delicious smoothies.
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- Azikho offers zero-waste health, pantry and hygiene essentials from their boutique store located in the Salt Rock shopping centre in Ballito. Fill your own containers from their bulk stores or buy jars from them. Online orders over R500 qualify for free shipping.
- The Refill Den in Adelaide Tambo Drive, Durban North, is a zero-waste lifestyle store specialising in mostly plant-based food and home supplies. Customers have the option to fill up their own containers in-store, but they offer glass containers with either lids or spray-tops for sale. Don’t want to spend money on jars? The shop also has free second-hand jars to choose from. WhatsApp them on 073 187 9875 or visit their Facebook page for more info.
- Shop Zero™ supplies healthy foods, toiletries, lifestyle and cleaning products to eco-conscious shoppers. Based in Lower Main Road in Observatory, they also offer an excellent online service, delivering their products nationwide, with a convenient in-store collection option as well. If you order online, they offer a package-free option to selected Cape Town areas and charge deposits for returnable or reusable glass containers. Countrywide orders of food products are packed in brown paper bags that are made from recycled paper, which are then shipped in reused boxes, sealed with 100% fully biodegradable, non-reinforced paper tape. Join their customer reward program and earn points for money spent, online reviews submitted and friend referrals.
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- An old-school grocery store with a new twist, Nude Foods boasts two shops in Zonnebloem and Newlands and offer all the pantry staples, natural household cleaning supplies and locally sourced organic non-GMO and seasonal produce. Bring your own containers or make use of the jars and paper bags on offer in store. Online purchases are also available. On site is Café Nude, selling a range of hot and cold drinks including artisanal plant-based elixirs and smoothies, while a converted caravan houses Wild Eatery food truck, where you can expect to be served mouth-watering vegan fare like tacos, wraps, falafel and salads.
- Newly opened in November, gram Plastic Free Grocer is located at The Trading Post in Somerset West and offers a wide range of oils, spices, flours, legumes and vegan baking premixes, as well as ethically produced and naturally sourced health and beauty products. Customers are welcome to bring along any type of containers, but the store also has glass containers and recycled paper bags available. Contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 081 359 3542 for more information.
- The Green Tap zero-waste store recently reopened in its new location in the West Coast Village shopping centre in Sunningdale. Green Tap believe that doing good for the environment should also benefit your family and budget, and they offer hand-picked eco-friendly products and foods without burdening the planet with single-use plastic packaging. Purchase online or from the physical store, filling your own container from their products. If you do not have a container, you can purchase one from their range of glass containers. Online orders are packaged in brown paper bags for you to decant at home, but alternatively you can order a glass jar at the same time for your order to be decanted into.