club-zero-faqs.htm | Abel & Cole

Club Zero FAQs

Wondering what your Club Zero VIP (Very Important Pot) is made of or what the membership fee is for? Find answers to your burning questions below.

  • Club Zero sustainability
    • How do I know that Club Zero is a more sustainable way to shop, and not just products being repackaged in reusable pots?
    • Instead of buying the products from our makers in smaller 500g (for example) packs, we are buying in larger bulk packaging – up to 25kg. We are encouraging our makers to send their goodies to us in the largest bulk packaging possible for us to decant into our VIPs. By having these larger packs, there’s less packaging used along the way.

      As Club Zero products will arrive in bulk packs, they often will not need to go through a further stage of packing (which can mean more transport). So by buying in bulk and refilling your pots manually ourselves, we are able to cut down the carbon cost of energy and transport along the way. We can guarantee that Club Zero products will always be packed this way.

  • Club Zero VIPs (Very Important Pots)
    • How do I open my Very Important Pot?
    • Firmly hold the base of your Very Important Pot in one hand, and gently twist the lid with the other. Squeezing the middle of the pot will make it harder to open.
    • What are the risks of COVID-19 from Club Zero VIPs?
    • We've taken every precaution to ensure our VIPs are as safe as possible. They are thoroughly washed and rinsed between uses.
    • What are Club Zero pots made from? Are they BPA free?
    • Club Zero VIPs are made from Polypropylene and do not contain any BPA.
    • Why are Club Zero pots made of plastic?
    • The durability and ease of cleaning of Club Zero VIPs is key to making the whole Club Zero system work. We need to be able to use our pots at least fifteen times on average in order to offset the additional weight of the reusable pot compared to the current packaging. We also must be able to clean them thoroughly as they’ll be carrying nuts one week and oats the next. Given these two key criteria, plastic is the best solution available. It really is the best material for the job!
    • What do I do if my Club Zero VIP is broken?
    • No matter what the condition, please always send your Club Zero VIP back to us with your boxes.
    • Do I need to wash my Club Zero pot?
    • There’s no need to wash your Club Zero VIP, but do try to tip every last bit into your container at home so that they’re empty when we pick them up. We’ll give them a good wash once we get them back from you.
    • Can’t I keep the Club Zero pot to store the produce in and then return it when it’s empty?
    • It may feel like a small thing, but without those pots, the whole system falls apart so it’s essential we keep the sustainable ‘return, refill, repeat’ circle moving. We stock a range of glass ‘keep me’ containers that you can buy to decant your organic goodies at home. In fact, Club Zero heroes get 10% off the range! Or, if you’re less fussy about appearances, you can reuse other packaging you already have in your kitchen – think large jars and other tubs.
    • What happens if I forget to give my Club Zero pots back? Will you remind me?
    • We’re taking a rather low-tech approach to Club Zero currently (it’s the most sustainable way, after all). So we don’t have any fancy gizmos for reminding you about your pots. In the future, we hope to have a system that will keep track of our VIPs but, until then, we’re counting on you Club Zero heroes to keep the circle moving.
    • Why can’t you use paper bags instead of Club Zero plastic pots?
    • Paper bags would be single-use only, which is what we are trying to avoid with Club Zero. We also need to be able to clean our reusable packaging, making plastic the best material for the job.
    • What are the risks of cross contamination with other products?
    • We wash our Club Zero VIPs at 65°C and rinse them at 85°C. We will also carry out routine testing of the VIPs for allergens. Whilst we’re confident that they will be thoroughly cleaned before we reuse them again, we cannot completely guarantee that Club Zero VIPs will be free from allergens, as they are packed in an environment that contains allergens or may have contained allergens previously.
    • What are Club Zero pots washed with?
    • We use a detergent recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer, with a final potable water rinse which is required under organic standards.
    • What’s this label across the lid of my Club Zero pot?
    • This is our rather nifty tamper-proof label. If the VIP hasn’t been opened, this sticker will show no pattern. Once you’re happy this is the case, pull off the sticker to reveal the ‘void’ pattern.
    • What’s this label on the side of my Club Zero pot?
    • You can peel off this label and stick it on to your containers at home. It clearly labels the product’s name, allergen info and use-by date.
  • The Club Zero range
    • Why aren’t you offering refills for other products such as washing up liquid or milk?
    • We have to start somewhere but hope to roll out to many more lines in the future. We’d love to hear from you on what items you think should be next on the list, so get in touch with any bright ideas. This is just the beginning!
    • Where do the glass containers come from?
    • Our ‘keep-me’ glass containers come from our friends, Le Parfait. Founded in early 1930s in Reims, France, Le Parfait are rooted in tradition and are big fans of doing things the old fashioned way. We’re hoping to get our hands on bamboo containers as an alternative in the future too.
    • Will storing these items in this way affect their shelf life?
    • No, it will not.
    • How big is the Club Zero pot that the goods come in?
    • It depends on the product you are ordering. Most of our snack items come in 500ml pots; rice and other grains in 1L pots and oats and pasta come in 1.75L pots.
    • Are all pantry items available as ‘refills’?
    • At the moment, we have a specially curated range of Club Zero refill products, made up of pantry faves. This is definitely just the beginning, and we’d love to hear from you if you have a bright idea on what should be next on our list.
    • What’s the use-by date of my Club Zero product?
    • This information will be displayed on the label on the side of your VIP. You can peel off this label and stick it on to your containers at home. It clearly labels the product’s name, allergen info and use-by date.
  • Club Zero costs
    • After paying a £10 membership fee, are all refills free?
    • The £10 membership fee covers your annual Club Zero membership. It gives you access to Club Zero benefits like 10% off our glass ‘keep-me’ container range. Once your membership fee is paid, you will then be able to shop the Club Zero range. When you buy nine of the same Club Zero refill, you'll get your tenth free once it has been added to your order. It's our way of saying 'thanks' for making a sustainable switch. Don’t worry; we won’t automatically take a payment every year.
    • Why is the membership fee £10 and what’s the money used for?
    • The process for preparing and packing Club Zero products has required (and will continue to require) us to offer a new service that goes above and beyond our usual way of doing things. There’s a huge amount of work going on behind-the-scenes from washing and refilling your pots to delivering them to your door. The membership fee will contribute to the cost of keeping enough VIPs in circulation, fitting out Veg HQ with the washing and packing kit, and for the additional time needed to do all this.
    • How do I get my 10th Club Zero refill for free?
    • When you enjoy nine of the same Club Zero refill, Club Zero members will get their 10th refill of that same item free of charge. There’s nothing for you to do, as we do the maths and apply this automatically when you add your 10th refill of that same item to your order. To be valid, the 10 refills must be across at least 10 deliveries and the same item must be on order at least once every 4 weeks.
    • I want to be a Club Zero member – when can I sign up?
    • We’re so happy to hear it! We’ll be in touch with all Abel & Cole customers soon when we can take on new Club Zero members. Just make sure you have an Abel & Cole account and are opted in for marketing emails so that you receive our updates. If you aren’t opted in, please keep checking this page for the latest updates!
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