The plastic free movement is gaining traction in North Devon and two shops are now offering people a chance to buy their household goods without the packaging.
Shoppers can take their empty containers into Nourish Stores in Braunton and Nature’s Nutrition in Bideford and purchase many of the food, drink and cleaning products they need by weight – saving money and plastic.
Nicola Quill, manager at Nature’s Nutrition in Mill Street, said the notion of refilling has become more and more popular.
“You don’t need to buy fancy Kilner jars, though some people like to do that; we just need an empty container, bottle or bag,” said Nicola.
“For example, once your washing up liquid bottle is empty, you can bring it in and you can refill it. It’s that simple, and costs a lot less than buying a new one.
“You can just shop for what you need. We want this plastic free way of shopping to be accessible to everyone, not just a select few.”
Nature’s Nutrition has a whole selection of household cleaning products in its ‘refill station’, as well as grains, pulses, spices, fruits, vegetables and more.
The shop re-opened as a Community Interest Company some 18 months ago and all profit goes back into projects in the local community.
Over in Braunton, Nourish Stores in Saunton Road has also seen a popularity in refillable items such as herbs, grains, dried pulses and fresh spices as well as soaps and washing up liquids.
Nutritionist Paul Ley manages the shop, and said in the last 12 months it has had a range of customers supporting the venture.
“Families bring their kids in and they enjoy helping refill things like the washing up liquid,” said Paul.
“It becomes a bit of an educational thing as well which is great. There’s a real community feel and we want to build on that.”
The shop has worked closely with the Plastic Free North Devon group and has become a Surfers Against Sewage champion too.
The next steps will be introducing a glass deposit scheme for people to use to refill items bought from the shop. It also sells hot and cold drinks in compostable cups and sells reusable ones.
Claire Moodie, of Plastic Free North Devon, commended the shops for their efforts.
She said: “It’s amazing to see our local businesses react to the consumer demand so quickly, enabling the ever growing concerned community to make more environmentally-friendly choices more easily.’’