Why organic?

Organic farming encourages and protects wildlife and does not use artificial herbicides or pesticides. The Soil Association explain the benefits really well. Whether claims about there being more nutrients in organic foods are true or not, there are certain things that are fact. Organic farming is very carefully regulated and there are strict guidelines that have to be followed. There is more wildlife on organic land. Organic farming has far more environmental benefits.

Can I use any containers? Does it matter if they are plastic?

You can use any container - takeaway and ice cream tubs work really well as do glass jars and cotton bags. Plastic isn’t banned from the shop, it’s an amazing material that saves food waste and makes the safe and hygienic transportation of all sorts of things possible. The big problem is the overuse of this material, in particular single use, non recyclable plastics. The best thing that you can do is keep using any plastic things that you have to keep them out of recycling and landfill. I plan to keep my plastic wide tooth comb that I’ve had for 15 years for at least another 15!

What if I don’t have a container with me?

No problem. There are recycled paper bags you can use and we’ve normally got some donated jars and tubs. If you’d like to invest for future visits, we sell jars, bottles and stainless steel boxes.

How is Packaging Not Included sustainable?

All of the products come from socially and environmentally aware companies. This means that they pay everyone a fair wage, ensure safe working conditions and source ingredients ethically. They aim to keep carbon emissions as low as possible and strive to reduce packaging. Packaging Not Included reuse as much packaging as possible: if it can’t be reused, we recycle it. The aim is nothing to landfill. The Conscious Skincare and Greenscents products come in large plastic containers that are returned and reused many times. Our electricity is provided by Ecotricity. We plan on joining 1% For The Planet and will support the Living Wage when we employ staff!

Is this an expensive way to shop?

The short answer is, for organic food, no! We are able to offer competitive prices because we buy local or in bulk and you are not paying for packaging. You can also buy products in the quantities that you need, rather than having to buy a large amount of something that you might not like or will only use a small amount of.

What’s wrong with recycling?

Recycling is great, but it uses lots of energy and some things can only be recycled a few times, so ultimate disposal becomes a real problem. There is a lot of mystery surrounding what can and can’t be recycled; so many materials that we think can be recycled may well actually end up in landfill. Another problem is that when plastics break down, they turn in to micro particles that can get in to everything, which is why plastic is being found in our food. Biodegradable materials break down in to natural substances. Aluminium, steel and glass can be recycled endlessly, but last for hundreds or even thousands of years if put into landfill, so how we dispose of things is really important.

What is zero waste?

You may have seen articles about people who manage to fit their entire year’s rubbish into a jar - while this is amazing, for most of us that seems unachievable. I reckon that if we all focused on reducing what we put in to our bins, the collective difference would be enormous. By composting at home and avoiding excess packaging, you’d be surprised how easy it is to avoid things going to landfill or into the recycling bin. Wiltshire Council offer discounts on Green Cones and composters. The concept of landfill is horrible - eventually, the world could become one big rubbish dump.

Have you got any tips for trying to reduce waste?

Yes! There are so many things you can do, but here are some of my favourites:

  • Get a reusable water bottle. We chose to stock Jerry Bottle, who put all of their profits into water projects around the world. Loads of places will fill your bottle for you - just ask. People are nice and don’t want to say no if you are friendly and polite!

  • Save storage tubs/bottles/jars to use to shop and to store home made goodies and left-overs.

  • Make and bake. Homemade gifts, cakes, granola, dips, sauces and nut milks are great.

  • Buy bread, fruit and veg with no packaging, or shop in places where you can use your own containers. Visit your local farm shop, butchers or fishmongers. They’ll often let you use your own containers. Lots of farm shops even have frozen stuff like chips, peas, pastries and fishcakes that can go straight in to your own tub. Again, just ask.

  • If you shop online, choose companies who offer no plastic packaging. Send an email to ask and put a note on your order. Many companies are willing to do it if you make a request. Some aren’t, but hopefully this will change.

  • Buy stuff second hand.

  • Get a menstrual cup if applicable. Girls, these are amazing - give the OrganiCup a go. Coming soon in the shop.

  • Use cloths, cotton napkins and handkerchiefs, rather than kitchen roll and tissues.

  • Always have a foldy shopping bag with you.

  • Compost at home.

  • Switch to loose leaf tea; most tea bags have plastic in them.

Got another question? Email hayley@packagingnotincluded.co.uk or come in to the shop for a chat.