Bulk Market ® wants to bring a new way of shopping to London, where there is no surplus food to be binned and no packaging to be landfilled.

July 2017, London – Hackney, a borough that currently recovers only 24.8% of its recyclable waste, will be the home of a waste-free market in London, where people will be able to find everything needed to live a life as sustainable as possible – from dry goods to homemade pasta and DIY natural ingredients for beauty products.

The market, being currently crowdfunded on Spacehive, will start its operations stocking more than 300 different products, focusing on social, local and bulk natural foods. The space will have an apiary supplying honey made on the premises, a nut grinder dispensing nut butter straight to the jar, a commercial-grade composting machine and a recycled container-greenhouse for DIY classes. “Even the building materials will be diverted from landfills or upcycled”, says Ingrid Caldironi, CEO and founder of Bulk Market®.

The store design will be created by a bunch of innovative architects, who will be ‘harvesting’ wasted materials to refurbish the space. Jan Jongert, one of the founders of Superuse in the Netherlands, and Andreas Lang, co-founder of Public Works, will be designing a space based on waste materials found in abundance in the area, such as supermarket plastic carrier bags and single-use packaging. “The idea is to divert materials from landfill as much as possible”, says Ingrid.

The shopping experience will be a far cry from traditional supermarkets: the products available will be brandless, sourced locally from other social enterprises, cooperatives, community farms or made on site, all sold in bulk or in reusable containers. “People will know how the food is made and where, all the way from field to table, and ultimately, to the bin. This idea came from my own needs. I wanted to support the right businesses and be able to shop without creating any waste, but there wasn’t anything like that in London. I’ve decided to take the leap”, says Ingrid.

After working in retail marketing for a few years, she decided that neither the corporate world nor policy makers were doing enough to tackle the waste problem. “People are so disconnected with food that they don’t even feel guilty when throwing it in the bin. And the same applies to the environment and the amount of disposable packaging we toss into landfills every year”.

According to recent data published by Wrap UK, the average recycling rate in Britain is 43%, way behind the 50% EU target. That means that 57% of resources are being landfilled, incinerated or finding ways to the ocean. The amount of food waste generated by supermarkets and the supply chain network could end world hunger many times over. According to the most recent report from Wrap, around a fifth of food brought into UK homes ends up as waste, equating to 7.3 million tonnes. Out of this, 4.4 million tonnes is defined as avoidable, and has a retail value of £13 billion.

The market will have a soft launch from 26th August until the end of November. After that, it will move to its permanent space in Chatsworth Road.

About Bulk Market®

Bulk Market® is a social enterprise on a mission to tackle food and packaging waste, supporting suppliers who are making a difference to people’s lives and the environment. We apply the 5 Rs to our business model – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot (compost), so we can make the most of the resources available. We operate using the principles of the Circular Economy.