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The Clean Kilo

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published August 12th 2019
Britain's Largest Zero Waste Supermarket Is In Birmingham
For those of you annoyed by all the plastic packaging in the supermarkets and trying to be more environmentally friendly, a solution has opened in Digbeth.

The Clean Kilo, Digbeth, Birmingham, Britain's largest zero waste supermarket
Green shopping at The Clean Kilo

The Clean Kilo is Britain's largest zero-waste supermarket that gives shoppers the chance to bring their own containers and bags for life with them to fill up with groceries.

In the case of grain, rice and similar, containers are weighed beforehand and then filled up with the item before being weighed again to calculate how much is being bought.

The supermarket stocks everything from lentils and rice to coffee beans, tea, cleaning products and even crisps that don't come in the usual plastic packaging, renowned for being hard to recycle.

Food including fruit and veg is also mainly sourced from small, local suppliers to keep it as green-friendly as possible at the store, close to the city centre, in the Custard Factory, in Gibb Street, Digbeth.

The Clean Kilo also does regular talks and workshops on topics like exciting ways to cut down on waste or how to make your own soaps or dishwashing scrubbies.

The Clean Kilo, Digbeth, Birmingham, Britain's largest zero waste supermarket
Jeanette Wong and Tom Pell, who set up The Clean Kilo

Partners Tom Pell and Jeanette Wong came up with the idea because they were annoyed with the heavy use of plastic packaging at supermarkets and realised there was nowhere to go to buy products without unnecessary waste.

They opened The Clean Kilo in June last year following a successful Crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the company has gained acclaim and won the Best Grocer 2018 award from Slow Food UK, an organisation that strives for good, clean and fair food.

The Clean Kilo claims to have saved over 123,632 pieces of plastic in the past year alone.

It is closed on Mondays, but shoppers can stock up on necessities from Tuesday to Friday between 10am and 7pm, on Saturdays from 9am to 6.30pm or on Sundays between midday and 6pm.

The Clean Kilo, Birmingham, zero waste supermarket
Britain's largest zero waste supermarket

It is one of over 200 zero waste shops in the UK that are highlighted on the Zero Waste Near Me website, which informs consumers on local shops selling unpackaged food.

Jeanette Wong, Co-founder of The Clean Kilo, said "We believe most consumers want to do what is morally and ethically right.

"The Clean Kilo concept began simply over a conversation between Tom and I because we desperately felt like we needed to do something about the amount of plastic which ends up in the environment."

Jeanette added that with the growing publicity about plastic packaging being sent abroad, damaging third world countries, or escaping into the ocean, consumers were putting more priority into how they bought products and supporting green-friendly stores like The Clean Kilo.

Its popularity is growing in Birmingham and beyond, as more people get to hear about the store, and it has now also been shortlisted for Best Retailer in the Independent Birmingham Awards.

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Why? Guilt-free green-friendly shopping
When: Monday: Closed Tues - Fri: 10:00 - 19:00 Saturday: 9:00 - 18:30 Sunday: 12:00 - 18:00 ​
Phone: 0121 389 3473
Where: The Clean Kilo, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4AA
Cost: From 50p upwards
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