The plastic problem is well documented around the globe, from the petroleum needed to produce it to the fact that every piece of plastic ever manufactured is still on the planet in some form — and will be for generations. On a mission to eliminate plastic from kitchen and bathroom products, the recently launched U.K.-based Roots & Hoots offers hundreds of common household items available for online ordering and local delivery.
The small team works under a simple concept — shopping for everyday needs doesn’t have to be wasteful. Their goal is to make it easy to make changes by offering a completely plastic-free selection of goods, so you don’t have to evaluate the packaging of every item you buy.
Co-founder Shiv Misra points out that despite the zeitgeist surrounding sustainable actions, many companies focus solely on the recyclable aspect of packaging. While recycling is important for reusing materials already in circulation, the real, long-term answer is zero-waste packaging. With this in mind, Roots & Hoots offers a completely circular way to buy everything from cereal to shampoo. To start the process customers place their order. The team then packages everything in reusable bags, tins or glass, depending on the item.
Misra says, “When 11% of the UK’s recycling is incinerated, switching to a reusable mindset is an obvious must. It’s up to all of us, as industry leaders, to fight the myth that zero waste shopping is both an inaccessible and expensive switch. If we truly believe that the time for change is now, which is indisputable, then we must shift the general consumer mindset. Leading a zero waste lifestyle is the way forward – and it’s easier than we’ve been led to believe.”
The company currently delivers orders across the South U.K., on a schedule that can be found on its website. It delivers using an eco-friendly electric van that produces zero transport emissions. Once packaging is empty, the customer can then schedule pick up of all used containers, which are sterilized and reused for other orders.
The product selection is varied, covering most pantry item staples such as cereal, oats, pasta, snacks, nuts and coffee. Every item sold at Roots & Hoots is 100% vegan. This is another important point of the team’s focus; they recognize the impact of animal products on the planet, including methane gasses released as a result of livestock, water pollution and degradation of the land. Many items are also organic, meaning they are produced without the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that are toxic for humans and the planet.
This isn’t Misra’s first foray into the food, household and beauty realm. He comes into the business with a background as founder and owner of another popular vegan and organic supermarket called Kindly of Brighton. Co-founder of Roots & Hoots Ram Krishnan comes to the table after successfully launching a tech startup centered around food waste recycling systems.
Consumers will find an impressive selection on the website. For the pantry, they offer options like ground and whole spices, nutritional yeast and organic vegan vegetable bouillon. Several size options are available as well. Many plant-based ingredients are listed, like organic agave, maple syrup, organic lemon juice and powdered arrowroot. The store even has sweets covered with chocolate bars, gummy candies and flavored nuts.
Personal hygiene and beauty products are a significant source of plastic consumption in most homes. Roots & Hoots makes it easy to eliminate this waste with bar soaps, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and hand wash that all arrive without the plastic packaging. There are also bamboo accessories like toothbrush holders and travel cases. You’ll find charcoal-based dental floss in a refillable container, and mouthwash and toothpaste in tablet form, eliminating the plastic tubes and tubs.
Throughout the household, you’ll find vegan and plastic-free alternatives for candles, cleaning products and laundry needs. Additionally, there is an assortment of Earth-friendly paper products such as toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. Scouring the site might even give you ideas for products you never considered like the biodegradable coconut kitchen scourers or the bamboo eco washcloth. There are, of course, the basic kitchen supplies like parchment paper, compostable garbage bags, coffee filters and sandwich bags.
Since the idea is to painlessly convert one household at a time, you can help spread the message through waste-free gift-giving with reusable fabric gift wrap, reusable and recyclable tins and gifts like reusable bamboo or steel straws.
In addition to providing a local service aimed at showing customers that conscientious shopping doesn’t have to be time-consuming, difficult or expensive, Roots & Hoots is also involved in supporting environmental causes. They are an official sponsor of Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, an international program that organizes beach clean-up and educational programs.
On Instagram, the company summarizes by saying, “Our homes are swimming in plastic and this problem is spilling into our oceans and even our drinking water. The solution is simple – reduce your plastic consumption. And we’re here to make it easy.”
Images via Roots and Hoots