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The Top Up Truck
Photograph: Fearghal Corbett – Keen Green

Hackney’s Top Up Truck is bringing zero-waste to your doorstep

Get eco groceries and supplies without even having to put on proper clothes

Chris Waywell

What with YOU KNOW WHAT, this year it’s been pretty easy to take your eye off the ecological ball. But a stupid virus notwithstanding, sea levels are continuing to rise, the summer heatwave is becoming an annual fixture and, even as we speak, somewhere a turtle is getting trapped in a six-pack ring.

Some lucky Hackneyites, though, are getting the chance to massively cut down on their use of plastic packaging thanks to the Top Up Truck. A repurposed electric milk float (remember them?), the Top Up Truck is an initiative from Clapton local Ella Shone. It’s basically a zero-waste shop on wheels, selling grains, pulses, teas and household products like laundry liquid and loo roll. You book a slot via the website, let the neighbours know and the TUT duly appears as residents stream out of their houses with string bags and wicker baskets like something out of ‘Call the Midwife’. So it’s not only good for the environment, it’s a chance to be social with the rest of your street. The Top Up Truck also makes visits to schools and nurseries, so parents can combine the school run with a spot of eco stocking up. It serves E5, E8, E9 and N16 at the moment.

Ella is crowdfunding to increase the capacity of the Top Up Truck by adding some shelves to it (it’s a single-decker currently). It’s clearly a great idea and if we are looking at a second lockdown, Gawd ’elp us, the sort of thing that makes daily life just a little bit more bearable. 

Book a delivery via the Top Up Truck website. And check its Instagram for details of the crowdfunder and other stuff.

Find more local initiatives and ways to get help.

Find the best cheap eats in the whole flipping city.


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