The idea of zero-waste can be daunting, but with plastic and fast fashion pollution rapidly increasing, every little bit helps to help stem the devastating changes to our planet.
Recently, a lot of countries have put a ban on plastic bags and straws, since they pollute our water and endanger animals. In Malaysia, people are starting to understand the bad impact of plastic on the environment and some measures have been taken to reduce the use of plastic. Although it’s a positive step in the right direction, there are many more things that need to be done, to effectively make a positive impact on Earth.
The idea of bulk food is slowly catching on, as more people realize how much food and plastic waste there is when buying pre-packaged goods at the supermarket. To make an effort in reducing our daily waste, we can start buying our groceries and products from zero-waste stores.
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot your way to zero-waste
There are a few bulk food stores in and around KL (hopefully many more in the future). They aim to eliminate disposable packing, offering not only bulk food options, but also products like sanitary napkins, toothbrushes (also for kids), lunch boxes, baby diapers, bee wax wrappers, etcetera. Some of the stores also sell products from local organic farmers and made by NGOs and co-ops, providing valuable work and fair income for those who produce it.
The main goal of those stores is to encourage people to adopt the five R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.
And isn’t it our duty, as parents, to teach our kids to respect the environment through conscious consumption and to make an effort to reduce our carbon footprint? Don’t postpone: today is the best day to start following the 5 Rs.
We checked out these zero-waste shopping options in Kuala Lumpur and surroundings:
- The Hive
The Hive is the first zero-waste store in Malaysia to offer a wide range of bulk foods and eco-friendly products, from dry groceries, oils and spreads, to natural personal and household items. Besides the stores in Ampang, Bangsar and other locations in Klang Valley, the products can also be easily ordered online and delivered to your doorstep. The Hive offers a loyalty program for its customers and runs weekly workshops on healthy food and zero waste living.
2. Frangipani Bulk Shop
UPDATE: Frangipani shop has closed, but you can still order their products online. More info here.
Frangipani started as an online shop, but recently opened a store in the centre of KL. The focus is on sustainable handmade and biodegradable products, using organic and chemical-free ingredients. The online store is very easy to navigate and delivers both in Malaysia and Singapore. All the products are separated into categories according to their use: at work, bathroom, kitchen and on the go. To support newbies on a zero-waste journey, they offer an interesting ‘Zero Waste Starter Kit’ as an incentive. The kit comes in a reusable glass jar and contains a bamboo toothbrush, organic solid toothpaste, bamboo cloth wipes, loofah, a foldable spork, produce bags and a beeswax wrap. It’s a great and original gift idea for family and friends who are engaged in a more sustainable lifestyle.
Bring Your Own Bottle is a store for those who are looking for a way to reduce plastic waste, by refilling used plastic bottles. The concept is to bring a clean empty bottle to refill with liquid detergents from a range of kitchen, laundry, personal care, and even car shampoo. Their mission is to educate the society about the dangers of plastic pollution and to stop people from treating plastic bottles as rubbish. There is a small BYOB store in Plaza Hartamas, in Petaling Jaya and there are also other outlets across East and West Malaysia. Although they have a website with all the available products, there’s no option yet for online shopping.
4. NUDE The Zero Waste Store
The NUDE store is also located in Petaling Jaya and they also focus on make a positive impact on reducing the real problem of plastic pollution. The shop sells a wide selection of dry food from rice to seasoning, plastic-free household liquids, personal care, beauty products, liquid insect repellents and even pet food. To encourage zero waste shopping, prices are very reasonable. The owners are very happy to answers questions you may have and like to explain about their products.
5. A Bit Less Bulk Store
This bulk store is located in 17, Jalan Ambong 3, Kepong and has everything you need to develop a habit of sustainable purchasing and zero waste. It promotes the idea of making small steps toward a less wasteful life. Besides the household and personal care products, you can also find a wide selection of fresh organic vegetables, free-range eggs, legumes, seeds, seasoning spices, homemade pasta, tea, cocoa, nuts, cereals and oils. The lunch boxes and collapsible cups from silicone or stainless steel are a great option for the kids to take to school. A Bit Less Bulk Store also offers workshops and weekly special products, like organic sourdough bread and beverages.
Can you zero-waste it?
Adapting to a zero-waste lifestyle might be challenging at the beginning, but it’s also extremely rewarding. Even if you simply reduce the amount of waste by avoiding single-use plastic packaging and reusing your old jars and containers to store food, you are already making a difference. In the long run, it does save money as well.
A zero-waste lifestyle: it’s simple things that matter and make a difference.
Remember to bring your own shopping bags, reusable containers and bottles before going to any of the stores listed above. In case you don’t have any at home, most of them have recycled empty and cleaned bottles for sale.
For more top tips on how to read a zero-waste life, read more here.