A Glasgow-based social enterprise is set to create Scotland’s first ever mobile zero waste shop.
Society Zero CIC, an environmentally focused company, is currently crowdfunding to raise enough money to buy and create the ‘sustainable supermarket on wheels,’ to make zero waste and plastic free shopping more accessible.
The mobile shop will sell fresh fruit and veg, local milks and cheeses and frozen goods ans well as providing gravity dispensers containing nuts, rice and seeds – all free from plastic packaging and waste.
The initiative is hoping to raise £11,000 to buy and fit out the van which will initially service north and west Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, South and North Lanarkshire as well as Stirling council areas. It’s then hoped it will service those further from the Central Belt, including Argyll and Bute and North Ayrshire.
If Society Zero can reach their stretch target of £13,000, an online food ordering system will be possible, meaning customers can get plastic free food delivered directly to their doors.
In response to the growing faction of brick and mortar zero waste shops opening across the country, Society Zero’s founder and managing director, Sophie Lejeune decided to respond to requests from numerous people in more rural settings without access to sustainable shopping.
“The mobile shop idea came from customer feedback, from people who felt it was really hard for them to shop in an environmentally friendly way, because of where they lived,” she explains.
“We want to support everyone who lives in various more suburban and rural areas, to make plastic free shopping choices at affordable prices.
“This first mobile shop will hopefully be the first of many as phase two of our company, and if we reach our stretch target we will be able to set up our plastic free online food ordering system so that anyone who misses our mobile shop stop can still receive their food refills plastic free.”
The first of what is hoped to become a fleet of mobile zero waste shops came from Woodside Arran, another community interest company focusing on regenerative farming.
“The hope is that in time, we will be able to have a number of electric busses that we can convert into shops,” continued Sophie, who has a background in community and youth work.
“Why should zero waste and plastic free shopping only be available to those in cities?”
As well as its work in creating a more environmentally friendly shopping economy in the rural factions of Scotland, ethics and social inclusion are also inherent in Society Zero’s ethos.
Thanks to Sophie’s background in the foster system and trying to gain flexible work as a single parent, she understands that getting into the world of work isn’t always necessarily easy without support.
“I thought, how can I help those people who have gone through a similar experience to me?” she says.
“As the company grows, we’ll be looking to employ and train people who are care experienced, or lone parents as well as those who have been long-term unemployed, reaching retirement age, or who have been deemed ‘too qualified’ for positions.”
To donate to Society Zero’s mobile zero waste shop fundraising goal, click here.