How Small Retailers Can Avoid Plastic Packaging

This years’ research provided by Paymentsense in July reveals over half (54%) of small retailers have seen sales of plastic packaged goods fall over the last six months.

The research shows that sales of fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic are most commonly highlighted as down, closely followed by fruit juice and water in plastic bottles.


Photo by Risager on / CC BY-SA


Almost half (49%) of the small retailers surveyed said the number of customers requesting products without packaging has increased over the last six months.

Over a third (36%) reported that consumers are now buying more unwrapped goods and using their own bags or containers to transport them. Nearly a quarter (23%) said they had seen a growth in customers requesting products with plastic-free packaging.


In response to these shifting consumer priorities, and as the zero-waste movement gains traction, many small retailers are already making changes. 291 small UK retail businesses were said to face the impact on their sales.

The most disapproved packaging items:
– Fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic (highlighted as down by 44% of small retailers)
– Fruit juice in plastic bottles (43%)
– Water in plastic bottles (39%)
– Plastic cutlery (26%)
– Plastic straws (26%)
– Drinks sold with plastic straws (25%)
– Soft drinks in plastic bottles (24%)
– Tea bags (23%)
– Cling film (17%)
– Frozen food with plastic packaging (14%)



Photo by lemonfilmblog on / CC BY-ND

As UK’s government is keen to eliminate plastic within 25 years, small retailers should already start working on small changes to bring their consumers back to shops.


Eco packaging is not only a trend. It’s a way of improving our awareness that it’s necessary to reuse, recycle, reduce and recover the damage provoked by plastic packaging.

Go plastic-free is still the most effective way of avoiding useless packaging. There is nothing more annoying than seeing wrapped up bananas on supermarket shells. Small retailers can use paper instead or keep the fruits and vegetables loose.


Photo by Jsome1 on / CC BY


Please, remove any polystyrene and pointless packaging. There are so many options that are easier to be recycled.

Let us bring your own containers to shops. Yes, zero waste shops are already a reality. Here are 41 of the best Zero Waste shops in the UK. Small retailers should adapt themselves to this trend and everybody wins.

Sell in bulk.  Exactly like in the old times, when we used to go to the local grocery shops.

The zero waste movement is real. Visit to get more ideas on how to join the eco-friendly lifestyle.

Cover Photo by amsfrank on / CC BY-SA

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Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

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