For many people the opportunity to be able to use zero waste shops is not always a possibility. I have written about the two here in Copenhagen before and you can read my sustainability posts here.
We are all very aware, simply by visiting a supermarket, how single use plastic is very hard to avoid but there are ways to reduce the volume and to save money at the same time.
This is not a sponsored post but I wanted to write today about Normal. Over the last couple of years this retail chain has been expanding in Denmark and with their catchphrase “normal product, abnormal prices” they are tapping into the budget market, however I see them as spearheading something else, possibly as an accidental byproduct.
They sell a large selection of brand names we are already familiar with but in large bottles (often 1 litre). I have read that four small bottles containing the same combined volume as one large bottle use around 60% more plastic. So the larger bottle is better for the environment (if we still have to buy in plastic bottles).
They also sell a number of well known branded products such as liquid soap and washing liquid in soft plastic refill pouches which again can save up to 75% of the plastic of a solid bottle. These used to be more available in the supermarkets and online grocers here but seem to have been phased out, for some odd reason. Manufacturers seem to be concentrating on recycled plastic packaging instead and if I am honest I am not sure which is better for the environment (research throws up a lot of propaganda from ‘Big Soap’.)
Both types can then be used to refill reusable bottles at home.
They also stock a number of vegan and ethically produced cosmetics such as mascara and nail polish. I realise that trying to be environmentally conscious doesn’t mean that we need to give up make up and cleaning products but to look for more ethical options which fit with our lifestyles and also budgets.
Increasingly you can find these big bottles in a lot of the main supermarkets. Føtex carry a lot of products in the big bottles and also a number of more ethical products such as reusable cleaning cloths for all types of cleaning as well as great little scourers which can be washed in a dishwasher to prolong their life. I bought one of these back in May and it is still going strong. These cloths etc are not much more expensive than the disposable ones by unit but last so much longer so are much more economical.