What are refill stores

Refill stores are usually independent and small stores that sell non-packaged food; forcing customers to bring their own containers when purchasing their items. Local businesses are now transforming their shelves to be filled with glass jars containing nuts, shampoo or grains; instead of plastic packaging.

The rise of refill stores:

According to greenpeace, in 2019 there was a rise of 400 zero waste stores globally followed by crowd funding campaigns and online stores. Zero waste movements continue to put pressure on supermarkets to adapt zero waste methods. Supermarkets put over 9 000 000 tones of plastic packaging in the shelves per year. A zero waste store known as Waistrose started it’s campaign in 2019. Sainsbury’s and M&S have followed suit this year by introducing refill stations after discovering that 75% of their customers were consciously trying to reduce plastic when shopping.

Examples of refill companies and their aim:

It is unfortunate that ‘lunch on the go’ in the UK creates 11 billion items of packaging waste a year. Examplesof companies that aim to reduce this are the following:

  • MIW Water cooler: This is a specialist water cooler company providing cool water and enabling people to refill their water bottles and not purchasing new plastic bottles.
  • Good club: A zero waste online shop, with the aim to lower carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
  • New Dove body wash reusable bottles and concentrate refill: Reduce plastic waste over time by using 50% less plastic than the standard dove body wash.

Some refill stores may cost a bit more than the supermarket but the quality and longevity is said to be greater.