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Scotland’s largest “zero waste” supermarket opens in capital

ONE of Scotland’s largest “zero waste” supermarkets has opened in the capital – complete with a peanut butter maker, milk tap and kombucha vending machine.

Locavore opened their superstore in Dalry, Edinburgh yesterday, promising to reduce both food and packaging waste.

The organisation is a social enterprise set up to “build a more sustainable local food system which is better for our local economy, the environment and our communities”.

Grain dispensers being filled.
One of the features of the new store is the use of dispensers over packaged goods.

The new store offers quirky novelties not found at typical supermarkets such as a milk tap station, peanut butter maker and a kombucha vending machine.

And the store itself runs on a refillable system where customers can bring their own jars to fill with pulses, grains, pastas, flours, herbs and spices. 

The “fill your own” dispenser system, reminiscent of pick ‘n’ mix areas at cinemas, is also available for household items such as shampoo and washing up liquid.

Plastic packaging is avoided and their organic fruit and vegetable range is package free but available to collect using paper bags.

To avoid throwing out any food that goes past its best by date, the company uses these foods in their on-site kitchen to make soups and freezable ready meals to sell.

The superstore sells a variety of shelved products from herbal teas, sustainably caught canned fish, tinned goods and oils.

The shelved products are from a range of organic and sustainable retailers such as Karma Cola, Bio-D, Pan Do Mar, Aleco’s and small Scottish company Almighty Foods.

Locavore now has five stores across Scotland – including three in Glasgow and one in East Dunbartonshire – however, their Dalry branch is the largest.

Managing director Reuben Chesters today said: “We held a soft opening as we hadn’t really publicised it apart from on social media.

“We had lots of people coming into the store in the afternoon interested in what we are doing and asking questions about the store.

“This is the largest Locavore shop opened but we are also the largest shop of its kind in Scotland, we are a 6200sq ft zero waste supermarket.

Staff of Locavore outside new store
The store is the first Locavore shop in the capital.

“There is nowhere else in Scotland doing what we do. 

“We sell interesting veg that would be unlikely to find elsewhere like different varieties of squash and chard. As well as the fruit and veg we offer organic bread and clothes and pottery that is sold by local artists.

“There is also the peanut butter machine and kombucha taps that are unique.

“There are only six kombucha dispensers of this kind in Scotland and Locavore owns three.”

The initiative is funded by Zero Waste Scotland who are a Scottish Government funded organisation working to reduce waste in Scotland.

Zero Waste Scotland has previously reported that sending just a single kilogram of food waste to landfill produces the same carbon emissions as 25,000 500ml plastic bottles. 

The report found that almost two thirds of Scots think reducing plastic use in their home is the best way of reducing their carbon footprint.

However, food waste has been reported to actually release more emissions.

The Scottish Government revealed that one million tonnes of food and drink in Scotland was wasted in 2013 with sixty-one percent coming from household waste.

In a climate change plan released in 2018, they pledged to commit to reducing Scotland’s food waste by 33% by 2025. 

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