I was recently contacted by Jess at Plastic Free Pantry to see if we could share each other’s blog and social media posts for Plastic Free July. I’d heard about Plastic Free Pantry last year sometime and meant to check them out, but it slipped my mind, so this reminder came at the perfect time. One of our obstacles to reducing our waste further is our lack of bulk options nearby, but Plastic Free Pantry offers the opportunity to buy goods in bulk, plastic free, online.
I like to do my research before committing to something, so I went on over to Plastic Free Pantry’s website to suss out how it all works. They buy their (mostly organic) goods in bulk, either in large paper sacks or very large plastic bags, and then portion out the customer’s order into paper bags, seal it with paper tape and box up for posting, sometimes with some brown paper packaging to cushion the items. Some products are placed into cellophane made from wood pulp and then the paper bag for extra protection. This cellophane breaks down in a home compost in 12-16 weeks.
My main concerns were cost (as bulk, in particularly organic in bulk, can often work out more expensive) and the impact on transportation on the environment. I knew that I could reduce the impact of transportation by buying enough of a product to last a long time and cut down on frequent ordering.
To compare costs I opened up Morrison’s online grocery shopping seeing as that’s my main supermarket and compared prices per kilo. Whilst some things worked out more expensive, I was pleasantly surprised that the Plastic Free Pantry prices were competitive. And they were definitely cheaper than our nearest bulk shopping option. I was actually excited to see how cheap bicarbonate of soda was from Plastic Free Pantry! We use bicarb of soda for cleaning and for making homemade deodorant. No more little plastic pots of bicarb for me!
I chose my products based on cost, what I needed for my store cupboards and made sure I ordered a decent quantity to last us. The parcel came via My Hermes and arrived within the promised timescale. It was all beautifully packaged and I transferred the contents to my store cupboard jars. The cellophane from the bicarb is in my compost and the brown paper bags will go in my fire basket. The box will be used for sending out items we sell on Ebay.
I’ll definitely order from Plastic Free Pantry in the future and I know they’re in the process of expanding their range. I’d love to see some extra items like bamboo toothbrushes, denttabs, bars of soap or stainless steel straws in the shop too. The kind of thing you would pop in your basket on a supermarket shop and could add in with your groceries from Plastic Free Pantry too. That would make the transportation issue even less of a problem, because it would save on ordering from more than one website.
(This was an honest, independent review. I did not receive any payment in goods or monetary terms for writing this.)