Our policy on plasticPlastic packaging is hard to avoid when stocking food items. It is absolutely everywhere, and does a good job of protecting and extending the life of foodstuffs, thereby avoiding food waste. However the amount of plastic in our environment is overwhelming and unsustainable, and we at Haworth Wholefoods have always consciously tried to reduce/minimise the amount of plastic we use. Not easy, but here are a few success stories:
Eco-for-life bottled water Haworth is in the centre of a vast area of beautiful countryside, and walking is one of the main joys for visitors and locals alike. And people get thirsty. Eco-for-life bottles are made from plants not plastic, and so are fully compostable. They are also reusable without the worry of the plastic leaching into the water you want to drink. We sell them chilled at £1.25. Eco-for-life only do still water in 500ml, so we are phasing out our plastic bottled water altogether and will stock more glass bottles instead in the larger size and for sparkling water. We are also a member of 'Refill', where anyone can refill their bottles with tap water without charge (see www.refill.org.uk).
Cellophane This is a natural wrapping material made of cellulose from wood, cotton or hemp, and is also 100% biodegradable. We use cellophane to package wholefoods that we buy in bulk and bag-up ourselves. Cellophane isn’t perfect as it has environmental implications in its creation, but of course so does plastic itself, and the amount of plastic in the environment and especially our seas is at catastrophic levels.
Fruit & veg We also sell organic fruit and vegetables, of course. These usually come in large cardboard boxes and then go into the traditional brown paper bags to take home. At the moment we are delighted to stock Catalonian almonds, grown without pesticides, artificial fertilisers or the irrigation needed for Californian almonds, and which arrive at the shop in paper sacks. We sell these loose or in small cotton bags to give as a gift and we’ve bought in some rather lovely little wooden nutcrackers to go with them (see photo).
Bread Our fresh bread is artisan-made in Hebden Bridge and has absolutely no plastic or packaging until it gets put into a paper bag for the customer to take home.
Milk Our local milk is delivered by the indefatigable Stanley in glass bottles every morning (he’s in his 80s and never stops working despite being run over by his tractor last year!), and he takes back the empties for re-use. Sometimes we have young people in the shop who exclaim "Look! Glass bottles of milk!"
Carrier bags We sell lovely string bags, plus cotton and jute bags, but it happens quite often that people come into the shop intending to buy one thing only and end-up getting carried away! So when necessary we can also provide compostable and biodegradable 'plastic' carrier bags.
Refills We have a range of refills from detergents, to oils, to cider vinegar which are not only cheaper to buy but also save another plastic or glass bottle from entering the environment.