The Food Collective Salford were granted £10k from the Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund (2021 – 2022) to turn their community supermarket into a zero waste shop.

What have you achieved with the project so far?

For the initial set up we were able to buy zero waste dispensers, scales and liquid dispensers along with reusable containers such as kilner jars. This was the start of the project and we invested in display materials and online marketing to show what we were doing and to encourage our community to cut down on packaging waste.

This encouraged us to expand our range to more zero waste products including low waste beauty products, bamboo toothbrushes and more.

We launched a jar exchange programme and it has encouraged us as an organisation to look more closely at how we reduce waste.

These changes have brought in a new demographic of customers to the shop and have gained us a new following in the 25 – 34 years age range.

How has it benefited your community?

The fact that we have been providing free starter jars and containers has been an incentive to people to come and give it a try. Our following has grown from there.

We have also been able to use this as an education tool to local nursery and primary children.

As we have been able (following the pandemic)to add a few tables to the store so that there is a community hub around the project.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Getting the dispensers in place, branded up and with instructions alongside the free jar scheme has been fab. Its given people who may not have considered zero waste buying before a reason to get involved.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

We are still a relatively small community supermarket so it has took us some time to find suppliers to supply to us in the bulk we need.

There’s been some issues with the events we have wanted to do with Covid restrictions but we have managed to use streaming etc to get out to a bigger audience.

What advice would you offer to anybody looking to apply next year?

Be prepared to make small changes and adapt as you go!

Follow the Food Collective Salford on Facebook for the latest on their project!


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