Inside Bournemouth's No Waste Shop: Almond & Co

17 January 2020

I often mention my efforts trying to be more sustainable here on Becc4 and as we enter this new decade it's certainly something I'm trying to be more and more mindful of. As always, I don't think you need me to point out the obvious, but, a lot of our behaviours and habits, particularly as consumers, are really damaging to the planet and the consequences really are starting to have a huge impact.

There are, however, lots of things we can all do to help reduce this, it's not all doom and gloom. One example of such is cutting down on/eradicating dairy and/or consuming a vegan diet, another is avoiding fast fashion and buying second-hand clothing

Another thing we can all do to help is cut down on our waste. Yes, recycling is fantastic and ecobricks are a great way to re-use single-use plastics but what if we didn't need to try and recycle them in the first place? What if we never bought them?...

Enter, Almond & Co, Bournemouth's first waste-free shop!

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.
A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.

A look around the No Waste shop in Bournemouth, Almond & Co.


I'd never been in a waste-free shop before but it had been on my list of things to do for the longest time, and last week I finally had my first venture into one! I'm not quite sure what I was expecting but I was really really pleasantly surprised, I genuinely loved it! The shop was really light and airy, full of all sorts of interesting products, and more refill options than you could shake a stick at. 

The premise is really simple. You take your own bags/jars/pots/tubs etc, weigh them whilst they're empty, fill them up, weigh them again and pay for what you've taken. Now, when I say there were loads of products to choose from, there really were loads of products to choose from! There were lots of products ready to buy including everything from local soaps to fresh vegetables, to cards that plant trees (how cool !!!) to beauty products. But, onto the part I was most excited about... the refills. Available were hot chocolate, nuts, cereals, pasta, coffee beans, shampoo and conditioner, laundry liquid, spices, dried fruits... Basically, you name it, it's probably there in one of those super cool dispensers.

The other benefit, besides the lack of packaging waste going into landfill, is that you only buy what you need! What a concept, eh? How many times have we all tried a new recipe with a load of spices we've never tried before, bought the entire spice collection in our local supermarket only to use it once and forget about it.

I made gingerbread over the festive period and have I used the cinnamon and ginger since? No. Is it likely to sit in my cupboard until I inevitably forget about it? Almost definitely. Obviously, I know this is something that I can easily change and I could just find a few recipes that use them, but what if I didn't need to?! Hellooooo only paying for what you need.

Want to try a new food but don't want to be stuck with a whole load of it if you don't like it? Well, not anymore! One item I spotted whilst I was browsing the store was Nutritional Yeast. This isn't something I've ever bought or used myself but knowing I could go in and buy a little bit to try out a new vegan recipe or two (mac and cheese I'm looking at you) definitely makes me more inclined to give it a go.

If you're local to the Bournemouth area I highly recommend checking out Almond & Co, the shop itself is beautiful and it makes it SO easy for us all to reduce our waste.


You can find Almond & Co in Westbourne at 75 Poole Road.

Have you ever been to a waste-free shop?

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