Meet the members of Scoop: Durham’s answer to zero waste food shopping

Scoop will offer Durham students a new way to obtain their weekly shop

Recently founded in Durham, Scoop is a zero waste non-profit organisation looking to change the way Durham students shop for their food. Created by students Davide Bertone and Nina Stevens, it is a sister branch of the similar Cambridge Scoop set up in 2019. Scoop is looking to open their first pop up shop in October 2020, which will price match local supermarkets and allow shoppers to donate to charity at the end of their shop.

A project of this scale cannot succeed without a powerful team, so The Tab Durham spoke to those behind this initiative dedicated to making Durham that bit greener.

Davide, Co-Founder

As one of the co-founders of Scoop, Davide is in charge of the running of Scoop whilst also delegating work to others.

Why are you passionate about Scoop?

“Scoop provides a small scale stand against environmental waste and the reluctance of big supermarkets to respond effectively to consumer demand for less plastic. It shows that if larger supermarkets are not willing to take plastic waste seriously, then small, local organisations will satisfy consumer demand in a quick and straightforward manner.

“Once you realise that no action is insignificant and that everyday people have power through their collective choices, then you can enact real, meaningful change. Scoop is just one small way of doing this.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I am most looking forward to our first pop-up store in October. So much work has been put into it and so much more work will be put in during the summer. We are hoping to it will be amazing once it all comes together in a tangible manner.”

Nina Stevens, Co-Founder

As the other co-founder of Scoop, Nina shares responsibility for the project whilst also having a creative input.

What are Scoop’s plans for 2020-21?

“Our main focus for the coming year is building a regular customer base so that Scoop can become people’s first choice for their food shop. Beyond this, we would love to expand our range of products and offer as many affordable green alternatives as we can such as household products, bathroom essentials and more!

“We’d love to collaborate with other  green initiatives in Durham to reduce unhealthy consumer habits such as fast fashion.”

What charities are Scoop working with?

“Our amazing outreach team has compiled an extensive list of charities in the North East that hope to create positive changes ranging from homelessness to wildlife conservation.

“We want our customers to choose where their money will go, so at the checkout till they will have a choice of 3 charities. This gives our customers more autonomy over their contribution and allows them to feel a more personal connection with the chosen charities.”

Grace, Publicity

Grace is Scoop’s publicity manager, and oversees the coordination of social media platforms and much more.

Why are you passionate about Scoop?

“I feel as though these sorts of small businesses will be a huge part of our future. As a result of Covid-19 many of us have made a conscious decision to engage in more locally sourced produce and support local businesses.

“I also believe that living sustainably should not come at a price. By keeping our prices low and supporting local charities in the North East, I hope Scoop will be an inviting and exciting place for students and the wider community.”

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to reduce their food and plastic waste?

“In terms of cutting down on food waste, I would say that a freezer can be your best friend. You can freeze all sorts of foods, including many vegetables and herbs! Shopping lists and meal planning is also a helpful way to only buy food you will use; sometimes buying a food shop as a house can also cut down on waste.

“I think small, incremental changes are best, such as investing in a reusable water bottle and coffee mug. Something as small as carrying around your own cutlery can make a huge difference. The Scoop pop-up shop, that will be opening in October, will provide everyone with plastic-free non-perishable foods!”

Jess, Publicity

Jess, alongside Grace, helps develop Scoop’s online presence.

What made you get involved in Scoop?

“I began to notice the unnecessary and excessive waste produce that people were creating on a weekly basis. For students, the waste-free food options are usually the more expensive options and are not widely available; this is where Scoop comes in!”

What is your role within Scoop?

“As part of the publicity team, I help create content for social media pages and ensure Scoop reaches as many people and as many platforms as possible. Nonetheless, Scoop works as a unit across different roles ensuring a seamless creation of our pop-up.”

Hetty, Outreach

As part of the outreach team, Hetty creates links to the local community and North Eastern charities.

What is your role within Scoop?

“My role includes researching charities in the local area and understanding the issues that the community faces. This ensures that we can make the largest impact in terms of where Scoop donations go once the shop is up and running.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I am extremely excited to see the changes our donations will make to the community. Each charity has such an amazing and individual impact in the North East, so to know that Scoop is not only helping to reduce waste but also help the wider community is so worthwhile.”

Ane, Outreach

Along with Hetty, Ane helps find amazing charities to help combat important issues in Durham and the North East as a whole.

What made you get involved in Scoop?

While trying to cut down on my plastic waste in Durham I have struggled to find affordable and regularly available plastic-free food products. I wanted to be a part of the solution by making shopping plastic and waste free and yet still affordable to the wider community.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I can’t wait to see how Durham consumers react to plastic-free shopping. Hopefully we’ll see people changing their habits when given the option, and making a conscious decision to help both their environment and their community.”

Jeanie, Photography and Videography

The photography and videos that Scoop produce are taken and edited by Jeanie, who also helps run the social media profiles.

Why are you passionate about Scoop?

“Before coming to university, I was researching zero-waste shops and I was disappointed to see that Durham did not offer anything of the kind. I want to help make a difference in the community and so by becoming part of the Scoop team I am able to help encourage others to make little changes to their lives through our pop-up shop.”

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to reduce their food and plastic waste?

“Bulk buying will mean less waste as the less often you buy something, the less waste you produce. I also prioritise groceries that are in recyclable packaging such as glass and cans, and make sure to recycle them instead of throwing them all into the same bin.”

Susie, Logistics

 What made you get involved with Scoop?

“I try to reduce my food mileage and plastic waste when shopping, and I found this difficult in Durham. When I heard about Scoop I knew I wanted to be a part of shaping a social enterprise which will benefit the local student and residential community.”

Why are you passionate about Scoop?

“If you want to be environmentally friendly you often have to accept paying more, but Scoop’s mission is to show that environmentally friendly shopping can be done on a budget. Scoop will create conscientious shoppers who will think about their wider impact on the world.”


Title images obtained via Facebook: Scoop Durham