Resources: Product Suppliers

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This is an ongoing list of businesses providing products that can help us live with less plastic. What are your favorites? Please leave a comment below and suggest other companies to add to this list.

Brands & Online Companies:

Physical Shops & Local Brands

CANADA

WEST AFRICA

  • Beechland:  Online shop selling mostly plastic-free family products (toys, games, craft supplies, musical instruments, foodware, furniture) to customers primarily in Nigeria and Ghana.

U.K.

U.S.A.

  • Berkeley Bowl: Berkeley, CA. Huge selection of bulk items. Tolerates customers bringing their own bags and containers but doesn’t encourage it. Have your container weighed at the bulk counter before filling up so weight can be deducted from total purchase price. Return to bulk counter to have purchases weighed and stickers applied. Read my report on Berkeley Bowl here.
  • Ecology Center: Berkeley, CA. Reusable containers and many other plastic-free eco-friendly household/personal care items.  Huge library of books that can be borrowed.  Runs sustainability workshops and tours.
  • in.gredients:  Austin, TX.  Nearly packaging-free grocery store.
  • Lhasa Karnak: Berkeley, CA. Fabulous herb shop with two locations offering a huge selection of bulk herbs and spices, for which you can bring your own bags and jars to fill, and essential oils in glass bottles.
  • Rainbow Grocery: San Francisco, CA. The largest selection of bulk items I have ever seen. In addition to dry stuff, they sell oils, nut butters, even fresh pasta in bulk. Personal care products too. Although it’s common for customers to bring their own bags and containers, it seems that a greater percentage still take new plastic bags. Procedure: weigh containers yourself on scale in back of bulk section and use stickers provided to mark the weight. Be sure and write the bin number after filling up so the cashier knows what the product is. Read my report on Rainbow Grocery here.
  • Tara’s Organic Ice Cream: Berkeley, CA. Delicious homemade ice cream. The shop uses durable stainless steel tasting spoons as well as reusable bowls for customers eating in. They provide only compostable containers for take-out. What’s more, Tara’s encourages customers to bring their own containers. Read my post about Tara’s here and about my experience bringing my own container here.
  • Truly Raw Gourmet: Venice, CA. Producer of organic, raw sorbet packaged in glass jars.  Truly Raw Gourmet will give a free jar of sorbet to customers who return 12 glass jars to the company to be reused.
  • Whole Foods Markets: Northern California region. This is an international chain of natural food stores, but since I have only visited locations in Northern California, I can only describe these local stores. Decent selection of bulk nuts, beans, cereals, grains, dried fruits, etc. Also some spices and teas. Not as extensive as Berkeley Bowl or Rainbow Grocery (above). Can bring your own containers for bulk items, as well as meat and prepared foods. Have containers weighed at customer service desk first. Be sure and write the bin number after filling up so cashier knows what product you are buying.


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Comments

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29 comments
shopmieux
shopmieux

EcoEnclose is also very great!

Ecofriendly packaging at very affordable prices. Well worth it for the quality. Fantastic customer service. We will always use them for all of our packaging needs.

http://www.ecoenclose.com

natalie
natalie

2 physical stores I must recommend are:

Whole Earth Center in Princeton, NJ.  They've been selling bulk products since they opened (70s or 80s).  They have dried fruits, muslis and granolas, flours, grains, beans, pastas, seaweed, candies, oils, honey, agave, laundry and dish soaps, and lots more.  They are very good with taking tare weights and sell ball jars and cloth bags.

The other is Integral Yoga in NYC.  This is the store that Colin Beaven went to for bulk during his project, and I went there when I was looking for fair trade bulk chocolate chips - WEC had both kinds, but not the combination.  They also have dish soaps and lots of other stuff, but I didn't look at everything I didn't need from there. they also had a fair trade cocoa powder that was abouot $18/lb - too much for me.

Glassery
Glassery

Dear Beth,

Your blog has been an inspiration to me in starting my business, Glassery. After reading about the health dangers of plastic and the Great Ocean Garbage Patches, I started to look around for healthy, plastic-free products. After spending many more hours than I would have liked on fruitless searches, I decided to start a store that offered only 100% plastic-free products. I am proud to announce that I have opened my doors for business. 

Glassery is an online retail store with the goal of helping people find alternatives to plastic in the kitchen. At Glassery, you’ll find glass containers, water bottles, teapots, condiment jars, straws and cookware by gifted designers and manufacturers from all over the world. What you won’t find are plastic lids or plastic seals. Glassery products use only stainless steel, sustainable wood, cork and silicone as secondary materials. Whenever I can't find plastic-free products, I design them.

Please visit us at www.glassery.com, and if you like what you see please tell your friends about us. Please write to us with your comments and suggestions on how we can improve. 

Yours for healthy people and a healthy planet,

Laurel Kenner

Founder, Glassery


evalewis
evalewis

I just tried to purchase the make-up, only to find after getting to the delivery information and facts web page that the organization doesn't send to Canada! I sent them an e-mail to recommend that they really should condition that up-front. I misused lots of your energy and energy. Justfriends, that appears to be excellent. Will you get in touch with me after you obtain the TP and let me know exactly how it was packed in the box? Always looking for excellent resources of plastic-free products.

Annie Waters
Annie Waters

Please add these organic cotton produce & bulk bags to the list...they work great! (Even for flour) http//www.organicgreensbag.com

Melissa Brown
Melissa Brown

Hey Beth, I love love Badger Balm. Their products are mostly organic and mostly plastic free. The only plastic in the tins is a safety wrap/ring. They have oils in glass bottles but with a plastic pump and lid. Their sunscreen is the best (great ratings from the EWG) and the container at least contains some recycled plastic. I'm really excited because they are planning on coming out with a deodorant next year and they said it will be plastic free. So, great products, great ingredients, and the company strives to use Eco friendly packaging.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Eve, that's interesting. What I wonder is what the eraser is made from. It's latex-free, so I'm assuming it's made from plastic. I emailed the company to find out.

Eve Stavros
Eve Stavros

Interesting supplier of recycled newspaper pencils!!! I haven't checked into their shipping policy yet, to see if it is plastic-free, but thought you might be interested. http://www.treesmart.com/

Jane
Jane

I just tried to order the toilet paper, only to discover after getting to the shipping info page that the company doesn't ship to Canada! I sent them an e-mail to suggest that they really should state that up-front. I wasted a lot of time!

Justfriends
Justfriends

Follow-up on the TP packaging from Restockit: I'm so pleased to report that the ONLY plastic on or in the whole 5 cu ft box was the little plastic envelope containing the packing slip - no tape even! At a cost of 62 cents per 500 sheet roll, it beat out the big box stores. And, it's decent TP too, which is a good thing, since I now have enough to last me two years! -- -- Eve

Justfriends
Justfriends

Wheeeeeeeee!!! I've found an online source for toilet paper that has NO plastic in the wrapping - AND it's made from 100% recycled materials AND no bleach!!! AND it's not exxpensive. Green Heritage by Atlas Paper Co. has about 12 different green varieties. It i 's a tad confusing - I mean have you ever measured your squares of toilet paper??? I've ordered a case - yes 96 rolls! I just hope the shipping box has minimal plastic/tape - but it's still way better than that plastic wrapping on every doggone package. Check out - www.restockit.com

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Jane and Lynnel, Eco Vision is the company that makes the cardboard tubes and containers. They are owned by the same people as Organic Essence. Contact them! http://eco-vision.com/index.html Contact them to find out how you can buy tubes/containers. I have no idea how much they cost. The prices are not on the web site.

Jane
Jane

I'm looking for eco friendly lip balm tubes, too. I make lip balms.

Lynnel Camling
Lynnel Camling

Thank you. I am looking for the empty tubes and other eco friendly packaging to use for products at shoppe.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

YES! Jane and Lynnel. In fact, right here on this page. Organic Essence sells lip balm in cardboard tubes. I wrote "plastic-free" but I should have specified that the tubes are actually cardboard. Jane, I'll check out SmallBones.ca and add them.

Lynnel Camling
Lynnel Camling

Does anyone know where I can find paper/cardboard lip balm tubes? TY!

Jane
Jane

http://www.smallbones.ca website & physical shop makes/sells many green products: soaps & shampoo bars, beeswax candles, organic cotton bags, hand-woven baskets, toiletries for women & men, etc. Most packaging is non-plastic (some lids are plastic & still searching for alternative lip balm tubes). Located in southern Ontario, Canada.

Beany
Beany

I'd suggest you add OB People's Co-op [http://obpeoplesfood.coop/] to the list of physical stores. They really encourage you to bring your own bags and containers. There are the cloth bags available for purchase right next to the bulk bin (in case you forget your own). They sell the stainless steel water bottles along with all sorts of bulk goodies (maple syrup, grains, candies, oil, shampoo, soap, spices) that you can bring your own container in. I get zero friction from the staff when I bring my own bags, containers, jars, etc. They work with me when I ask for plastic free alternatives. Can't say enough good things about them. And, and! Their prices are lower than Whole Foods. Totally worth a visit!

Kate
Kate

I live in New Zealand and I like to buy organic foods like flour and oats but am having trouble sourcing large non-plastic containers in which to keep them. Have I just not found the right sites yet? Any suggestions? Kate

Alyssa
Alyssa

Just FYI, the stainless steel wine glasses from Green Boat Stuff come with plastic bottoms. I guess there is a "stemless" wine glass that is totally stainless, but that might not be so useful after a lot of wine tasting...

Lynnel Camling
Lynnel Camling

We make every single bar of soap so you can luxuriosly shampoo, shower shave and bathe. We have been making soap for almost 20 years and have been "green product" long before it was considered one of our responsiblities to do so. Our labels and packaging are simple - recycled paper. Would love to have you list us as a link to your site if possible. You have a great site. Thank you! Lynnel Camling

BethTerry
BethTerry moderator

@Glassery Hi Laurel.  Sorry your comment didn't appear right away -- Livefyre thought it was spam.  But I went ahead and approved it.

I have a question -- I see you carry glass tea pots.  Can these tea pots be heated on the stove?  And can they break?  I have been looking for one and reading comments on Amazon, and I have yet to find one that didn't have at least a few comments saying they broke when heated on the stove... even teapots that are borosilicate glass and not supposed to break.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Justfriends, that sounds great. Will you contact me after you receive the TP and let me know exactly how it was packaged in the box? Always looking for good sources of plastic-free products.

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