All of us know by now that our oceans are becoming overwhelmed with plastic. And it's coming back at us in the bodies of fish that we eat, and contaminated water and salt. Trying to go plastic-free, or at least a little lighter on a substance that takes up to a thousand years to decompose, Eat Hackney was thwarted at every turn. Cardboard boxes of grains and rice turn out to have a plastic bag concealed within. Drinks are routinely handed over with turtle-very-unfriendly straws and one-use plastic stirrers. Bank notes, Oyster and bank cards, mobile phones – the stuff is everywhere.
So Eat Hackney was more than happy to bump into Jack Agnew when collecting her Growing Communities veg at Hackney City Farm. This modest activist has opened a lovely little plastic-free shop – Get Loose – in the colourful and leafy environs of the farm. Jack buys food wholesale in sacks from Locavore and Infinity, and sells it on at very reasonable prices, thanks to the generosity of Hackney City Farm who are letting him use the space rent-free for a probation period. Grains, muesli, quinoa, rice and lentils are weighed up, and you take them away in your own container or in a paper bag.
Tinned fish and tomatoes can be purchased, plus pasta produced in a hydro-powered factory, and there's much more to come. All the produce will be organic, apart from the tinned fish which is wild and MSC certified.
We look forward to watching the shop grow and flourish, and salute Jack, who is also working on a commendable project to manufacture food-waste compostors. Here's hoping Hackney – and the rest of the world – will get loose sooner rather than later.
Get Loose is open Wednesday 6–8pm, Thursday 5–7.30pm & Friday 11.30am–6pm at Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row E2 8QA.