The Zero Waste Process at the Co-op

The Zero Waste section at Dublin Food Cooperative has almost quadrupled in size since we started the project in 2017. When we started we had just 20 items – we now stock approximately 78 items packaging-free, ranging from spices to deli items, detergents to toiletries. Our latest addition was loose teas and local Dublin honey. We aim to expand further this autumn.

When deciding which items to put in the packaging-free section, there are a number of factors to consider. First, we take requests from members into consideration.I look at bestsellers in the shop and see if the products are available to us in a large quantity with our suppliers. Then we see if this product is something we can safely have on display and store for a number of weeks. 

After a product gets added to the Zero Waste section, we start phasing out the prepacked item on the shelf. We hope that in time this will free up space for more gravity bins. 

Sometimes an item does not work packaging-free. We tried fresh pesto but this went off to quickly, being exposed to air constantly. Split peas and cinnamon quills were selling too slowly to guarantee freshness. 

On my wishlist for the new gravity bins are Brazil nuts, cacao nibs and millet, amongst others. 

I hope you found this information useful! If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email them to me at amy@dublinfood.coop. For more info on Zero Waste living visit http://zerowasteireland.com

Soon our Click and Collect service will be up and running soon where you can purchase large quantities of dried goods, which will also help you reduce your waste! Keep an eye on our website – https://dublinfood.coop