In a retro-style milk truck, London businessman pursues a ‘zero waste’ future By Reuters

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© Reuters. Ella Shone, serves a customer of her no-waste mobile shop called ‘Top Up Truck’ in London

By Natalie Thomas LONDON (Reuters) – Heralded by the hum of its underpowered electric motor and the clink of bottles stacked in crates in the rear, Ella Shone’s ‘Topup Truck’ began life hauling morning milk to the doors of Londoners with cloudy eyes. Twenty years later, and the light vehicle known as the ‘milk float’, once a ubiquitous sight on British streets, is enjoying a second run selling a variety of goods and serving the 32-year-old quest to rid the city of singles. use plastic. “The fact that he’s driving on a milk float does a lot to raise awareness in the local area,” said Shone, who wore a black beanie during his rounds in the Hackney district last week. “So now I am operating almost at full capacity.” Dismissed from her sales job during the coronavirus pandemic last spring, Shone used her savings to start her new business, aiming to meet the growing demand for household items free of the plastic packaging used in supermarkets. Customers book a visit from the ‘Topup Truck’ online and then purchase products such as lentils, pasta, olive oil, shampoo or detergent in their own containers. From a low base a decade ago, the market for such unpackaged bulk products could reach at least 1.2 billion euros ($ 1.5 billion) by 2030 in the European Union, according to a report -content / uploads /2020/06/2020_06_30_zwe_pfs_executive_study.pdf by Zero Waste Europe, an anti-waste network. While handling logistics can be challenging, Shone estimates that its service has eliminated the need for at least 12,700 pieces of plastic since its launch in August. By planning a crowdfunder to modernize its milk float to allow it to serve a greater range of products to more communities, Shone hopes that its novel approach will inspire others to find creative ways to tackle waste. “If we want to have real change, it has to be a collective effort,” he said. ($ 1 = 0.8218 euros)

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