Ely will join the plastic-free revolution with the launch of its new mini markets next month.
Shoppers will be encouraged to bring refillable cups and reusable bags in a bid to reduce their carbon footprints.
Julia Davis, of Ely Markets, hopes the new mini markets will also help residents cut down on food waste and packaging by buying little and often from local traders.
“If people in Ely choose to make a few small changes to the way they shop then together we can make a big difference.
“Remember your shopping bags on market days and bring along a re-usable coffee cup too. We’d love to see people start bringing their own containers for cakes and pastries.”
The first mini market will be launched on April 3 – with subsequent mini markets trading between 8.30am and 3.30pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, selling essentials such as fruit and vegetables, coffee, cheese and bread.
These new, smaller markets will complement larger, well-established markets on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Julia said: “Our new mini markets give you the chance to get more of what you want, when you want it. They’ll make everyday shopping easier and will encourage people to shop locally and support small producers…
“It’s perfect for when you’re popping into town on your lunch break, or after you’ve dropped the kids off at school. And once you’ve finished your shopping Silver Oak Coffee will be there to keep you supplied with delicious locally-roasted coffee”.
Buying little and often from a local market isn’t just convenient – it also reduces food waste and cuts down on packaging while supporting the local economy.
“We want our markets to lead the way in helping local residents to take a more thoughtful approach to their shopping.”
According to Greenpeace, an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans year year – the equivalent of a truck load of rubbish each minute.
In a further bid to encourage environmentally friendly shopping, the new mini markets will join the #PlasticFreeFriday movement on social media, with prizes given out on a regular basis, including re-usable coffee cups, bags and containers.
On Wednesday, April 4, there will be a special launch day to coincide with the Easter school holiday, promising extra stalls, activities and the chance to meet Michael Recycle, Ely’s local eco-hero, and to win an Ely Markets “Bring Your Own” goody bag.