• Victoria

A Hastings woman has become one of first people in Britain to launch a plastic-free retailer

The good news is that we may be seeing the end of plastic straws , ear buds and coffee cups

Izzy Crouch, an open water swimmer, noticed the plastic pollution on local beaches which inspired her to launch the company No Plastic Shop from her bedroom, in January 2018.

Read more at: https://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/business/open-water-swimmer-launches-plastic-free-retailer-1-8379045

There's plenty of alternatives making the way onto the market - here are a few pointers of what you can buy and where..

Loose vegetables & fruit

Buying your fruit and veg is one of the easiest ways to cut down on plastic consumption and food waste - there are a couple of independant greengrocers locally

Hill & Houlter - newly opened in the Old Town or try Sussex Fruits on Bexhill Road - which is a fab shop, I bought my Christmas Tree there !

- or if you do go to a supermarket take your own bags. It may end up cheaper as you only really buy what you want, or some retailers have been critisised for making loose produce more expensive to buy according to a report published by Money Saving Expert

Rethink How you Store your food.

There are some alternatives to plastic wrap out there, however if you store your food more efficiently you will use less as it will last longer.

Greaseproof or Bee's Wrap is an alternative to cling film. The wrap is reusable, biodegradable and compostable, and is made from organic cotton, sustainably harvested bees wax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin.

There's a guide here to on the best ways to store your food


One of the worst offenders - there's a huge backlash on disposable cups and lots of choices out there for you to use your own re-usable mug - some chains offer discounts too if you use your own -


Pret a manger doubled its discount at the start of this year so customers with reusable cups now get 50p off their hot drinks.

With your own cup you could get one of its filter coffees for just 49p - that's a discount of more than 50pc.

The firm is also planning on offering its own reusable cup later this year, and may consider adding more china cups to some of its shops to cut the number of sit-in customers being offered paper ones by default. 


Customers get 25p off all drinks if they eschew the paper cups. Currently less than 2pc of Starbucks customers take advantage of the initiative.

On the flipside, Starbucks will also begin charging an extra 5p to those who takeaway drinks its paper cups. 

Starbucks sells its own reusable cup for £1 which you can take to other outlets.


Hot and cold barista-served drinks are discounted by 25p if you bring your own mug.

This excludes stores in Northern Ireland and "Proud to Serve" concession stands in other sites such as canteens and petrol stations.

Costa also sells its own reusable cups for £3. 


The high street bakery gives cup-holding customers 20p off their hot drinks bought in every store.

This reduces the cost of a cup of tea to 80p or the most expensive large "speciality latte" to £2.25

@GreggsOfficial Replying to @jm_waste

We offer 20p off hot drinks when a customer uses a reusable cup. We also have our own which is £2 and you get a free coffee when you buy it!

Caffe Nero: double loyalty stamps

Fans of the Italian coffee chain won't get any money off but staff will give customers with reusable cups an additional stamp on their loyalty card. Once you've got nine stamps you get a free hot drink.

The chain also sells its own branded reusable cups online but they cost £10.

It's also worth trying your local coffee shop for a discount as many offer similar price cuts.

Tea for free

Waitrose offers free tea and coffee to members of its loyalty programme when they shop. It asks those that sit in with their drink buy something from the cafe.

Those who sign up for Ikea's "family" membership scheme also get free tea and coffee Monday to Friday (it's 95p for everyone else).

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