If you take a stroll down to your local supermarket you will quickly be greeted by the literal mountains of plastic packaging encasing your weekly shop. These plastics present themselves in a variety of forms, from single-use plastic bottles for your water to plastic bags wrapping up your bananas, apples and potatoes. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for the average person to walk into a supermarket and buy all of their shopping without having bought any plastic packaging, we don’t have the infrastructure to support our zero-waste mission. Ultimately these plastics either end up being incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere which contributes to air pollution and the destruction of the Ozone layer, being deposited into landfills, where they won't break down for hundreds of years, or perhaps even worse are deposited into the oceans, impacting marine life. According to WWF, 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, and when you realise that plastic production began in the 1970s, we’ve been doing that for way too long.
Of course, we know now that Supermarkets are trying to cut down on their plastic production and overall environmental impact. The UK government introduced the ban on free plastic bags being used to package our goods and in certain stores, i’m looking at you Tesco, you can fill your own bottles of orange juice at a dispenser. However, one supermarket in Brighton is taking the plastic pandemic into their own hands. Introducing: How It Should Be, or HISBE for short. Situated on York Street, this Supermarket boasts grocery shopping with products from local and sustainable sources, products that have travelled less air-miles, products that are naturally in season and have NO unnecessary plastic packaging. The store is a full-blown supermarket too, stocking fruit, veg, meats, breads, pasta, laundry detergent, loo roll, toothpaste - you name it, they’ve got it. What sets HISBE apart though is its refill stations, pictured above. These stations are full of grains, cereals, rice, muesli, oats, nuts, seeds - the list goes on! All of your household staples ready for dispensing into your own reusable containers. It doesn’t stop there either, there was also a station for all your laundry/cleaning needs. Whether it was body wash, dish soap or fabric softener these were all available in self-serve bulk containers so that you don’t have to buy all those single use plastic detergent bottles. What really shocked me about HISBE though was the fact that it wasn’t unaffordably expensive, and there were also a lot of recognisable brands in the store that you could find in other supermarkets, such as Clipper loose leaf tea, and Dove’s Farm flour and pasta types. All of this put together and the result is a more ethical, sustainable and environmentally conscious supermarket that is paving the way for zero waste living and really showing us How It Should Be.
For more information about HISBE and their manifesto, follow this link: https://hisbe.co.uk/#storesBlog Post by Brighton Maverick, Charlotte Cattell