With the world quickly moving away from single-use plastics, some of our daily routine is having to change and adapt to fit a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Some simple steps that people all around the world, including here in Malta, are taking include avoiding the use of plastic straws and reducing unnecessary plastic packaging.
Many large supermarkets such as Valyou are taking steps to reduce their waste production, so we stopped by their newest outlet at Pendergardens in St Julian’s to give plastic-free grocery shopping a try.
Armed with our own containers and re-usable bags, we hit the aisles
Our plan was to try and buy a whole meal without purchasing anything that included any excess plastic packaging. Seeing as we were in the middle of a heatwave we decided to opt for a light summer salad.
At the entrance of the store, as you’re approaching the fruit and veggies section, you can pick up your own batch of VECO Veggie Bags that you can pay for at check-out. Their reusability means that you don’t have to take a new single-use bag every time you do your grocery shopping. And if that’s not really something you’re ready to commit to, the produce bags at Valyou are biodegradable and totally green.
You can also pick up some freshly-cut fruit or a tasty smoothie over at the fruit counter if you’re looking for a light and refreshing snack.
We collected all our fresh produce in our Veggie Bags, and used our containers for some Tzatziki Dip and a bit of Feta cheese
Valyou has an extensive deli counter, full of all the cheese and cold cuts you could think of. Plus a mega variety of dips, nibbles, dressings, and all you could want for the ultimate platter selection. At the deli counter, customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers. And it doesn’t matter how big or small the container is, because they weigh separately to whatever you’re buying, so it won’t affect the price.
The fresh produce (namely fruit, vegetables, and nuts and seeds etc…) can only be purchased in bags, as they cannot weigh them separately, and this is where the reusable veggie bags come in handy. We used our bags to gather some pine nuts, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
You can also pick up a freshly made sandwich with products from their deli counter (sans plastic wrapping).
There’s also a hot foods section where you can buy some food to eat-in or take-out
But we took advantage of it to continue building our packaging-free salad. Along with the hot food that’s prepared fresh daily, they’ve got a fresh salads section too. Their salad section is priced by weight, regardless of what products you purchase. So if you want to purchase a fresh salad, you can put it all in one container and they’ll weigh it up for you just like that.
We filled our container with some couscous, lettuce, and cucumber to help beef up our salad.
We also grabbed ourselves some crackers to nibble on, and a tub of ice-cream, because we deserved it. And while these products weren’t packaging free, they were plastic-free, and came in a recyclable cardboard backing.
In the end, this is what our plastic-free shop looked like, all packaged into a reusable shopping bag.
And the push to reduce single-use plastic isn’t the only reason to stop by Valyou in St Julian’s
They’re open for late-night shopping seven days a week, from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 9pm on Sunday. And since it’s located at Pendergardens, there’s easy and free parking available at all times, a rarity near the busy heart of St Julian’s.
The free parking for Valyou customers is super easy to access, so you don’t have to worry about going round and round in the car park and getting lost. Simply take a left as soon as you enter, and you’re there.
They’ve got a wide range of products over at Valyou
With food and drinks all on one floor for easy access. You can get your share of gluten and lactose free products, gym supplements, organic items and great options for vegetarians and vegans. Plus a wide selection of sweets and snacks, and international foods to satisfy any craving you could think of.
They’ve also got a wide variety of organic baby products for any busy parents prepping their kids’ school snacks.
Oh, and did we mention their amazing wine and spirit selection?
Because it is quite the selection indeed. A whole load of local and foreign wines, spirits, beers and any alcoholic drink you could want. In one easy accessible area.
And if you can’t make it down to the store to do your shopping, but still want to take advantage of their amazing range of products and great prices, you can also order your shopping online. Orders of groceries and fresh food over €50 can be delivered for free all over Malta, and on the same day if you order by 1pm.
Or, you could order everything online and opt to ‘click and collect’ from the store itself.
Their in-house Gourmet Lounge stocks a whole load of tasty food that you can grab if you’re looking for a quick lunch
That you can either eat there, or take with you on a quick lunch break. You can get anything from freshly made sandwiches, to pastas, to full on roast chicken and potatoes. Not bad at all. You can also use their charging parts for your phone or laptop, and use their WiFi to catch up on your socials.
Tag a friend who is doing their bit to reduce plastic consumption