It was the idea of partners Tom Pell and Jeanette Wong, who were annoyed with the frivolous use of plastic packaging at supermarkets and realised there was nowhere to go to buy products without unnecessary waste.
Setting up their own business based on a strong ethical mission, the pair funded the project through a successful Crowdfunding appeal that shot over their target, raising over £20,000. Now shoppers can buy groceries using their own containers and bags for everything from coffee beans to cleaning products and rice to fruit and veg; mainly sourced from small, local suppliers.
Jeanette Wong, Co-founder of The Clean Kilo, said “Consumers support and respect an environmental small business like ours as they know we have genuinely set up to help reduce plastic pollution, so they go out of their way to support us.
“We believe most consumers want to do what is morally and ethically right. With the growing coverage on the media regarding plastic packaging being sent abroad, damaging third world countries, or plastic escaping into the ocean, the consumer is now more than ever trying to do the right thing.”
The Clean Kilo has clearly found its niche and is the only zero waste shop in the country to offer plastic-free crisps, priding itself on saving over 123,632 pieces of plastic in the past year.
The business has also tapped into an emerging industry as there are now over 200 zero waste shops or stalls in the UK that are highlighted on the Zero Waste Near Me website, which informs consumers on local shops selling unpackaged food.
Alongside these new companies, there are more established businesses making small environmentally friendly changes that can appeal to their customer base.
Webbs, a family-run shopping and garden centre in Wychbold, Worcestershire, recently started using compostable wrapping instead of plastic on its members’ magazines and brochures. While farmer Charles Hudson diversified his business to grow a 14-acre field of delphiniums alongside arable farmland at Wyke Manor Estate in Pershore to turn the flowers into biodegradable petal confetti.
It has been over 20 years since Charles’s idea inspired the Real Flower Petal Confetti Company and led to the product being used at celebrity weddings. Prince Harry even threw the petal confetti over Prince Charles and his new wife Camilla at their Royal wedding.
The Carbon Trust, which provides specialist support to organisations worldwide to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy, realised that many businesses can struggle with how to adapt. That’s why, this summer, the Trust launched a Climate Leadership Framework to help businesses.
Hugh Jones of The Carbon Trust said: “Policymakers globally are considering how and when their economies can transition to net zero emissions and there is a heightened public awareness of climate change issues.