The Tab talks to: SCOOP

Cambridge’s first student-run zero waste shop!


Last week, I chatted to George Jeffreys, the founder of SCOOP. We were keen to know everything about the project. He explained that SCOOP was 'a minimum-waste shop that sets up every two weeks at a different college in Cambridge. We have a range of dry foods, and you can come to us, take your food in a jar or container, without any plastic, and go home with some really good food without putting anything in the bin.'

SCOOP is a project fresh on the Cambridge scene, having been in the making since only the end of last year. I was keen to know where the idea for SCOOP had come from; George explained that although there are 'lots of zero waste shops starting to crop up around the UK', 'a lot of the zero-waste shops you’ll find actually have quite high profit margins and price students out of the market.' His aim was 'to bring that into the student market.'

Next, I asked for his opinion about the benefits of smaller-scale change as opposed to large scale governmental shifts. Chuckling, he assured me that 'both are really important, but it’s important not to overlook small-scale changes' because the impact of 'bringing things like plastic waste to the front of people’s minds on a daily basis is the thing that, at grassroots level, causes greater pressure to be built for the bigger changes.' Both types of change 'in tandem are really important'.

The SCOOP team were overwhelmed by the positive responses their first event received. George noted, 'What I think is brilliant is that we had a lot of people say, "Oh, I've never even thought of this," and yet here they were'. There are a group of around 30 volunteers open to all students to join, to help as regularly as they feel.

How is the future looking for SCOOP? George plans to 'export the scoop model to other universities' in order to 'provide the experience and tools so that groups of students at other universities can set up a zero waste initiative there'.

To keep up-to-date with the next SCOOP event, their Facebook page can be found here.