Are refill services the answer to our plastic waste issue?

Are refill services the answer to our plastic waste issue?

We are facing a growing problem (on a global scale) when it comes to plastic waste. 

We produce 381 million tonnes of plastic each year. Of this, only 9% is actually recycled. We are unsure as to how long plastic takes to break down, but estimates suggest that it could be up to thousands of years. To add to our concerns, plastic is being broken down into fragments which can be ingested by humans when we eat meat and fish. 

Our production of plastic isn’t set to slow down any time soon in fact, the amount is predicted to double by 2034. 

Despite these upsetting statistics, there is an exciting and eco-friendly new trend on the horizon which may help us to solve our plastic waste problems. 


Many supermarkets including Morrisons, Asda and Waitrose have trialled the latest innovative and forward-thinking concept of refill stations. The idea is simple -- customers pay for a reusable bottle and bring it back to a store for a refill when they’re ready for more. This means package-free shopping and less plastic waste and this emerging trend is starting to catch on. 


Waitrose was one of the first major retailers to introduce refill stations as a part of its ambition to reduce waste. Refill items included pasta, rice, coffee, washing up liquid, alcohol, loose fruit and veg and many other everyday refillable items. The trial was a huge success, with incredible customer feedback. Around 90% of customers said they would love to use the refill stations. 

In addition to foodstuffs, industries including cosmetics and cleaning products have also begun exploring refill stations. With the creations of apps such as Loop and Refill, the potential for refill stations is becoming more readily available, making it easy for consumers to find and use the stations. 

At Purdy & Figg, we pride ourselves on commitment to sustainability, along with our contribution to zero waste. All our bottles are made of glass and as a way to reduce waste, we have created our own refill service, with the aim of cutting down the amount of packaging that is needed, reducing our sanitisers environmental footprint. 


Our founders, Purdy and Charlotte have always tried to live sustainably and have built the brand ethos to reflect this value. 

To begin your own sustainability journey, check out the app ‘Refill’ which connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop with less waste. They aim to reduce, reuse and refill! You can also check out Purdy & Figg’s refill subscription service on our website. 

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