Local shoppers encouraged to reduce plastic pollution

April 29 2018

by Keri Beckingham

A NEW shop owner on Gloucester Road is hoping to help educate people on the issues of plastic pollution.

The issue of single use plastics is something that has really hit the headlines in recent months, following the success of documentaries such as Blue Planet which showcased the impact that plastic islands are having on the world’s oceans and wildlife. 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste are dumped in our oceans each year, with the coast off Bali in Indonesia being particularly badly affected.  This problem is something that Bristol resident Tiriel Lovejoy is especially concerned about, and he has been inspired to try and make a change as a result.

Tiriel, who has lived in Bristol for 25 years since moving here for university, lives in Shirehampton with his wife and two young children. He has been vegan for all of his life and combined with his career working in food retail for supermarkets like Aldi and Iceland, the issue of plastic pollution and food ethics is something that is very important to him.

At the start of this year, Tiriel read about the UK’s first zero waste food shop in Totnes and was inspired to open one of his own. Preserve Foods, which will be located near to Fig and 212 Gallery will be the first zero waste food shop in North Bristol, and the second in Bristol overall.

The main concept of zero waste food shops is that a range of products are sold without packaging. Things like cereals, pulse, grains, pasta, oils, vinegars, herbs and spices, nuts, baking ingredients, as well as home wares such as washing liquid and floor cleaner are bought in bulk by the shop owner and available for customers to decant into their own containers in store. At Preserve Foods, paper bags, fabric bags, glass jars and bottles will also be available for people to buy if containers are needed.

The store will only sell ambient goods to start with as products like juice and milk are difficult to buy in bulk, but Tiriel has said that they will have a way for people to buy nuts in store and turn these into nut milks if desired.  

Speaking about his plans for Preserve Foods, he said: “Gloucester Road is a great, vibrant area, with a fantastic community and lots of support. I feel like it will be the perfect location with us, offering residents a complete food shopping experience with a bakery, butchers and green grocers all located along the same stretch.

“I’m by no means the master of all things zero waste, and I haven’t lived a zero waste lifestyle all my life, but I want to help people learn as my family learns too. Food shopping is something that is really natural to me, based on my experience of working for supermarkets, and I’m excited about doing something positive for the environment at the same time.”

The store, which will be located at 208 Gloucester Road Central, plans to open for business in June. Tiriel also plans to sell none food products such as bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel straws to help people move away from using single use plastics, and choose multi use products that are biodegradable and recyclable instead. 

To find out more about Preserve Foods and to keep up to date with their opening plans, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Preserve-Foods-345050065971393/