Sustainable Lincolnshire: A growing business from the zero-waste revolution

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As more and more shops begin to look at minimising the environmental impact of our consumer habits, one local business is leading the way in zero-waste and plastic-free solutions.

Rosie Levick, owner of Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store, part of the Sunrise Plant Company near Gainsborough, has taken inspiration from London trends to create a plastic-free business.

Alongside a garden centre in Saundby, Rosie has created a zero-waste vegetarian coffee shop and plastic-free grocery shop, which has already doubled in size in the last six months due to demand.

Photo: Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store

Currently, the grocery shop, which opened at the end of 2018 alongside the coffee shop, sells a range of products, in which you bring your own containers to fill.

Products range from fresh fruit and vegetables, and dry goods including cereals, rice and pulses, to household items including shampoo, conditioner and laundry detergent.

All laundry and cleaning products are plant-based and ethically sourced.

Photo: Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store

Rosie told CityX: “The ethos of the green grocer being plastic-free has been so popular.

“Following the launch, at the beginning 2019 we doubled the size of the green grocer to meet demand.

“My inspiration has been my two adult children, who are both strong environmentalists and vegan.

Photo: Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store

“In chatting with them, they said if you are going to do this and build up a shop, the next step is zero-waste.

“I went and looked at this concept in London, and thought ‘why can’t we bring this back to Saundby’, I hadn’t seen anything like this locally and thought it was a great idea.”

Initially, the grocery shop started with 25 gravity dispensers, providing a range of products – which has now been increased to 65, as well as a full refill station with over 20 household items.

Photo: Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store

Rosie added: “The initial reaction from our customers was incredible and we have been catching our breath ever since!

“All this happened by accident really but the demand is definitely there.

“We are doing something really niche but putting it on that mainstream platform through our garden centre.

“There is a huge demand for people shopping this way. We have people coming from quite a long way, as far as Cleethorpes.

“When you start to open your mind up to this concept, it is crazy how much supermarkets sell us that people don’t need.

“We’ve found that our customers are relived to come here and know that they are not going to waste what they buy.

“And we have also seen that the concept is changing people’s dietary habits as part of that process – customers are really questioning what they are eating.”

From September, Rosie will also be banning takeaway cups in the coffee shop, meaning those looking for a takeaway coffee must bring their own reusable cup.

Photo: Garden’s Greengrocers and Zero Waste Store

She added: “We have to all take individual responsibility for the problem that we’ve got environmentally.

“The end point of recycling is not what we think it is, only 9% of what we recycle actually is recycled – the rest is transported overseas.

“We have looked at other sites in neighbouring towns but my personal future plans are to inspire people to set up their own businesses and help in building on the concept of plastic-free.”

On September 11, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, Rosie will be hosting an open evening to show customers how easy it is to re-fill, re-use and re-purpose things they already have, as well as help inspire others to launch their own plastic-free companies.

For more information about the open evening, click or tap here.