The latest United Nations IPCC report on global warming published in March once again sounded the alarm about the climate emergency and called for urgent action to combat plastic pollution.

Each year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste is collected worldwide and over 400 million tons of plastic is produced globally, half of which is designed to be used only once, and of which only 10% is recycled(1). By 2050, it is estimated that the oceans will contain more plastic than fish, a mass of around 750 million tons(2).

We can all reflect and act individually to minimize our environmental impact in our daily lives by reducing our production of waste in our everyday consumption.

“Zero Waste” is an eco-conscious lifestyle that consists in generating as little waste as possible. If the Zero Waste movement is not new and dates back to the 1970s(3), it was about fifteen years ago that a French-American activist based in the Bay Area, Béa Johnson, popularized it by adopting with her family a radically zero waste lifestyle and preaching it around the world with her 5 fundamental rules, the 5 R’s:

  • Refuse what we don’t need such as single-use items
  • Reduce what you do need (what you can’t refuse)
  • Reuse what we consume (what we can neither refuse nor reduce)
  • Recycle what cannot be refused, reduced or reused (last resort solution)
  • Rot what is left by composting organic waste.

Learn more about Zero Waste Home

To adopt a “low waste” or “zero waste” lifestyle, and reduce your consumption of single-use plastic, come visit the Zero Waste shops in the Bay Area and choose from their wide selection of eco-friendly products. Positive impact on the planet guaranteed!

SimpleSimple zero waste shopping MerciSF
The new Cole Valley store literally makes zero-waste shopping simple with its full range of plastic-free products carefully selected from local manufacturers and meeting strict sustainability criteria. In addition to a wide selection of packaging-free products, you can also refill your household cleaning products (dishwashing liquid, detergent, window cleaner, etc.) as well as your body, face, or hair care products.
📍1001 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, California 94117

Founded by Frenchwoman Stéphanie Regni, the eco-conscious boutique in Albany near Berkeley offers a zero-waste refill space serving body, face, and hair care products, as well as household cleaning products and cooking ingredients. The boutique complements the home delivery service of sustainable beauty and cleaning products that exist online.
📍1579a Solano Ave., Berkeley

Re-Up Refill Shop
The Re-Up Refill Shop offers a range of eco-friendly bath, body, kitchen, food, and cleaning products in refillable containers, reducing single-use plastic waste. Re-Up has rigorous sourcing standards, prioritizing local, circular, and minority-owned businesses with plastic-free products.
📍6025 College Ave., Oakland. 510-415-0956

Byrd’s Filling Station
Founded by women, and in association with Sea Hugger, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the ocean, the Byrd Filling Station offers a wide selection of bulk products including food, household cleaners, and body care items. On the shelves, you will also find books on zero waste and guides to educate adults and children about protecting the planet.
📍219 S San Mateo Dr, San Mateo, CA 94401

The Zero Source
San Jose’s first zero-waste store and refill shop, founded by a woman, sells handcrafted and locally made products by women based in the Bay Area. Come and fill many products in their bulk bar or attend a zero-waste workshop. This green business brings together other small women-owned businesses in the bay to provide resources for a plastic-free life and a portion of their profits is dedicated to building an animal sanctuary.
📍87 N. San Pedro St., Suite 105, San Jose. 408-210-2490.

EthosEthos MerciSF Zero Waste
Sustainability is at the heart of this boutique. As a member of “1% for The Planet”, they donate 1% of their gross profits to environmental and social justice nonprofit organizations. They mainly source products from businesses run by minorities, and thanks to Carbon Ethics, Ethos offsets all its carbon emissions from shipping operations. For those new to zero waste, their zero waste kits are an easy way to start eliminating some of your common plastic uses.
📍101 Capitola Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
📍59 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos CA 95030

Other eco-markets in the Bay:

Other stores and coops in the Bay Area offering bulk products:




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