Zero Waste and Plastic Free: Behind the scenes at Incredible Bulk

Its great to be helping people avoid waste when they shop with us, but the responsibility doesn’t end there – we also have a responsibility with the waste that we create. We manage to reduce waste by buying our stock in large bulk quantities but there is still an amount of waste that we end up with.

Our stock comes to us in a variety of forms, luckily mainly in large paper-based sacks or boxes that can be easily reused, composted or recycled but some products do still come in plastic. We look to avoid these where possible and we know all our suppliers are also working hard to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use. To ensure this plastic waste doesn’t end up in landfill we have a few different processes in place.

For our household cleaning products that come in large plastic containers we return these to the supplier who then recycles them. (We have tried working with local businesses to try and upcycle/reuse them but unfortunately the cleaning methods have not worked sufficiently to date).

For any plastic bags we are left with we work with a company called Terracycle. Terracycle is an innovative recycling company set up by Tom Szaky (if you haven’t read his book Revolution in a Bottle go grab a copy!) and they have developed zero waste solutions for difficult to recycle waste streams. We use their plastic zero waste box for all our plastic packaging, which is then sorted and melted down into small pellets which is then re-purposed into affordable, innovative products instead of being sent to landfill.

These two are our more difficult to re-purpose or recycle items of waste we have come across to date, being a new business we may come across others in the future but we will keep you updated on these as and when they arise – we are looking to keep a waste jar for anything we don’t have a solution for and keep it in the jar until we do. Currently the only item going to landfill is any plastic tape used on boxes sent to us as we have yet to find a solution to this, other than to keep emailing our suppliers who use it and asking them to switch to paper gum tape!

Any questions on our zero waste methods please do get in touch. 

To read more about Terracycle Zero Waste Boxes