Looking to volunteer around this topic? Head to our Plastics Free workgroup page!
Zero Waste in NYC
Zero Waste or Low Waste Living is the most commonly used term for people trying to reduce plastic and other kinds of waste. Sometimes we’re just talking about reducing plastic but the real answer is the R’s we learned in grade school. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It’s in that order. We’ve spent the last 30 years on recycling with limited progress. Now it’s time to focus on the first two, reduce and reuse.
Below are stores and services that help New Yorkers do that. You can see places throughout the city via www.litterless.com and on the sustainability map from Green Spectrum. And check out the Instagram show Zero-Waste Wednesdays.
Zero Waste on To Go City-Wide
Deliver Zero: A delivery platform like seamless that offers food from restaurants. They operate on their own and with doordash. You order from them and the food comes in durable reusable containers. You can either return the containers to the delivery person on your following order or bring them back to any participating restaurant. They will clean it and reuse it.
Cup Zero Coffee: This is a program throughout the city where you can get a reusable cup and return it to any other participating location. They will clean it and reuse it.
CupZero: Reusable cups for live events such as music and sports. They provide the cups to the venues and take them back to wash and reuse.
Re: Dish A company that does reusable food containers for corporate offices. They provide the dish ware and collection bins, educate the staff and take the containers back for wash and reuse.
Refill Stores: Brooklyn
Ekosphere Personal care products delivered in reusable containers. They will wash and clean and deliver them. Available all over New York City
Common Good & Co: An NYC-based company that makes nontoxic, sustainable, refillable cleaning products for your home, laundry, and body. They have refill stations all across the city, where you can bring a reused container to fill up, or they will ship to you.
–La Nature: Over 20 bulk household cleaning and personal care products available in their refillery.
Downtown Brooklyn/Boreum Hill
–Precycle: An all-bulk grocery store in Bushwick that opened in November 2018, this zero-waste-friendly spot has all the bulk foods and unpackaged produce you could want. This store is a must visit.
–Bushwick Food Co-op: You can find beans, rice, grain, flours, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, coffee, tea, spices, oil, vinegar, granola, and more (for the full list of bulk products that they offer, click here).
–Malko Karkanni Bros.: Bulk nuts, seeds, snacks, candies, dried fruits, herbs, spices, and more. Per a reader submission, you can bring your own containers.
–Oriental Pastry and Grocery: Find bulk spices, herbs, tea, nuts, dried fruits, olives, and baked Middle Eastern pastries and sweets.
–Sahadi’s: Stock up on spices, olives, nuts, dried fruits, and coffee beans.
Note: 350Brooklyn offers these links to resources in good faith but does not have the capacity to deeply evaluate each one. We offer these resources in good faith but do not warrant them.
350BK Plastics Free Workgroup
Extend your impact beyond your home by teaming up with likeminded people to raise more awareness on the issue. Head to our Plastics Free workgroup page to get involved!