• Small Sustainable Swaps

Refillable products

Lots of the food we buy now comes in copious amounts of often unnecessary plastic packaging. For many this can be difficult to avoid and so can be quite frustrating. Checking for recyclable or compostable packaging is one step in the right direction as well as buying in bulk quantities.

Increasingly though it is becoming easier to buy loose goods. Refill stores are becoming more common and it is also an option being trialled in some supermarkets. There are also online companies that will deliver loose goods in compostable or reusable containers.

In these stores you will find a variety of loose products such as herbs, spices, pasta, rice, oats etc. You take your own containers along and fill up with your required amount. Deli, meat and fish counters will also allow you to fill your own containers. This is a great way to reduce the amount of waste and reuse existing containers you have such as take away pots or glass jars. No need for buying fancy new pots.

I have used a refill store called Larder near where I live. I really like this store and have found a good range of products and the staff are so friendly and helpful. However, during recent months it has been difficult to get into town so I have searched out other alternatives, which I will in the future use alongside local stores. Recently, I have tried an online company called Cero . I was impressed with the quality of the products and how quickly the delivery arrived. Their focus is on food products which is great but I am also interested in refills for other types of products.

The newest company to make refills available is Loop who have partnered with Tesco. I have not yet tried this company but they are certainly a company to watch as they expand their available products. They work on the basis of providing products in refillable containers which you pay a deposit for and then return when you have finished using them. At this point your deposit is returned so essentially you only pay for the product.

Hopefully in the future this style of shopping will become more accessible for all.

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