THERE has been a rising interest in buying food with less or no packaging.

This has been a challenge for us all, but particularly for supermarkets where for decades, we have been sold food wrapped in so many layers, our bins are full with plastic and other materials when we unwrap everything once home.

Many of us are now taking our own containers into shops to fill them with loose foods.

Most shops and supermarkets are happy to oblige, but now things have been taken a step further.

Waitrose supermarket has experimented in one of its stores in Oxford, selling loose goods to see how it might work on a larger scale.

Waitrose is calling this scheme ‘Unpacked’.

At the Botley Road store in Oxford where this experiment has run since June this year, the range of goods on sale as ‘Unpacked’ encompassed 28 loose dried goods such as rice, pasta and lentils.

There is a coffee station where one can get freshly ground coffee beans. If you like your soft fruits, there is a pick-and-mix stand which offers frozen cherries, mango, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Imagine being able to have wine and beer bottles refilled. You can even get your water bottle refilled at the water fountain.

This scheme is now being expanded to Abingdon, Wallingford and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

So remember, to make plastic-free shopping easier, always keep one bag with all your other bags already in it along with any containers you need for your meat, fish or other fresh foods.

Old net curtains are ideal for sewing into a set of smaller drawstring bags for loose potatoes, onions etc.

And instead of taking the car, why not buy a shopping trolley for your heavier shopping? Shopping trolleys used to be the preserve of little old ladies, but they are the eco-friendly way to carry heavier shopping. Not only does it free you from trying to find a parking space, your contribution to the air pollution in our town decreases by leaving the car at home.

Speaking of food unwrapped, our Incredible Edible project at Wallingford library held a successful event on September 28.

Lots of free veggies were given out; cucumbers were spiralised; cake was eaten and scarecrows were made. Now displayed at the library. If gardening is your thing, get in touch to see where you can help.