How to shop at Zero Waste shops

We have been so wrapped up in sorting out the shop that we forgot that this way of shopping is completely new to many people. It can be daunting and intimidating walking into a shop when you don’t know how it works or what to expect. I wanted to do this article to give an idea of how the shop will work and what to expect from it as a customer. I hope you like it.

Natural Weigh is a zero waste shop, meaning we provide customers with a zero waste shopping experience where you can do your grocery shopping without receiving any unwanted plastic waste.  We work hard to make sure we generate as little single use plastic as possible too. All our products are stored in bulk dispensers, some of these are attached to the walls and you just pull a handle to dispense products, others are like the pick and mix style scoop dispensers.

The steps below give a good idea of how the shop works from a customer perspective but please ask us if there is anything you aren’t sure about and we will always be on hand in the shop to help out.

Step 1: Weigh all your containers. There are two scales in the shop and I would recommend the first thing you do when you come in is to pop each of your containers in turn on the scales. For each container, the scales will print a barcode of their weight, which will be deducted at the end to make sure you don’t pay for the weight of your container. You can use any containers you have at home: Tupperware, glass jars, paper bags, etc. If you don’t have any suitable containers, we are selling glass jars and bottles in various sizes, organic cotton bags and paper bags.

Step 2: Fill your containers. Take your containers and fill them with whatever you fancy in the shop. Most of the products are dried foods but we do have some liquids (vinegars) and some cleaning products.

Step 3: Re-weigh. Once your containers are full, take them back to the scales. Here you can scan the original weight using the barcode printed out earlier, then re-weigh to get the price for the amount of product you need to buy.

Step 4: Pay. Then head over to the till to pay for your goods and for a chat about how you found the shopping experience.

It is even simpler than it sounds. If you keep the original weight label on your container, next time you come into the shop you won’t need to weigh it again at the beginning.

If you have any questions about how the shop will work or comments then let us know 



Hi Robin & Chloe
Sound exciting, and I’m sure there will be a lot of interest. Will you be selling ‘bag-your-own’ flour as well?


Hi Kirsty,
Yes we will :). We have eight different types of flour and you will be able to take them away in whatever container you like, includng bags.

Margaret Underwood

Brilliant. Takes me back to my childhood in Kenya


It is a really simple idea and worked well for years. We are hoping to be part of bringing that back 🙂

Christina Watson

I am so glad that you are doing this, I am sure it will be a great success, our original wholefood shop in hay was the same, everything in bulk so that you could buy the quantity needed. I used to take bottles to fill with Apple juice, nettle shampoo and washing liquid. It was also a place where local smallholders could bring their excess produce to sell. All the very best!


Hi Christina, Thank you for your comment. We are really excited that we have taken the leap to do this and hope it will help people live more sustainably 🙂 We are hoping to stock apple juice, among other things, once we are off the ground 🙂 hope to see you at the shop!

Chris Bailey

My family have been holidaying in the area for 50 years. So looking forward to coming in and shopping with you this summer. A fantastic addition to Crickhowell.


Hi Chris, so glad you are keen for the shop. We look forward to seeing you on your holiday. Don’t forget to bring some containers with you 😉

Sally Owen

Well done! I’ve missed this (all the good wholefood shops did this in the 70s, now nearly everything is in those horrible unrecyclable plastic bags) and will be down to stock up as soon as I can


Thanks Sally, look forward to seeing you 🙂

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