The Refill Revolution: A Beginners Guide to a Plastic-Free Life

The Refill Revolution: A Beginners Guide to a Plastic-Free Life

 

It’s more important than ever to revaluate the way we shop. By choosing to refill and reuse, we can save millions of pieces of plastic from ending up in our environment, oceans and communities - it’s a no brainer!

More and more companies are adapting to plastic-free and refillable alternatives to give a little bit back to the environment. 

So today, on World Refill Day, grab your bottles, jam jars & tote bags and join us in the Refill Revolution!  

Zero Waste Shops

Zero Clue about Zero Waste?

Zero Waste shops are slowly growing in popularity, and for good reason! They are one of the most sustainable ways to shop and normally super economically viable, especially if you’re looking to buy products in bulk. When you come across your first local refill shop, it might seem a little bit complicated and daunting, but it really is as simple as Weigh, Fill & Pay.

Reducing Waste 

We’ve all heard of Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, but what if we cut out the middleman? 

Reducing is about cutting down on the amount of waste we make, but here’s the brilliant thing. If we are opting to refill instead of re-purchase, we can eliminate excess packaging waste and control how much we are buying from the get-go.

Where can I find them?

Refill goes mainstream 

Small-scale, independent zero-waste and refill shops have been slowly popping up all around the world for the past couple of years, but just recently larger chain stores have also started to take notice of the trend. Big names such as Lush, The Body Shop and L’Occitane are currently working on zero-waste concept stores, and we are here for it! 

You may have noticed your local M&S Food trialling a ‘Fill Your Own’ concept over the last couple of years. You can now get over 60 lines of refillable grocery essentials from 11 stores across the country!

In 2021, Asda released a pilot ‘sustainability store’ in Leeds, featuring more than 30 plastic-free products and refill stations. It’s been an incredible success and the supermarket giant is set to be adding more eco-friendly stores to its list - watch this space! 

 

Heres a few of our favourite local Zero Waste stores:

Cups and Jars

Location: Forest Gate, East London

Re:Store 

Location: Hackney, London 

Solar Sisters 

Location: Guildford, Surrey

FILTR

Location: Croydon, South London

Find more Zero Waste Shops in your area HERE

 

Food for Thought

We are a nation of quick and efficient eaters, so it’s no surprise that plastic is at the very heart of the food industry. But, did you know that you can cut back your plastic consumption just by opting for simple, whole ingredients? 

Going completely waste-free may seem like an impossible task that will have you running around your local supermarket in tears, but we promise it doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Here's a couple of easy ways to help you ditch the M&S ready meals and make the switch to plastic-free produce.

Start Small

You might be tempted to try to completely renounce plastic from your life all together but, whilst this sounds ideal, we have become so dependent on it in our day-to-day lives that it might be a hard goal to stick too. It’s far better to make a couple of small changes than getting completely overwhelmed by your new lifestyle. 

Here’s some simple ways to get started:

  • Researching your nearest, local Zero Waste Shop 

  • Keeping a collection of glass containers for refills

  • Choosing a couple of easy, key ingredients to restock (e.g. Rice, Dry Herbs/Spices, Coffee, Sugar etc.)

  • Researching some tasty, wholefood recipes

Minimal is Key 

Living minimally isn’t a new trend, but did you know you can also apply this to the way that you eat? It may sound boring, but some of the most basic ingredients can make the most delicious meals. Not does it make food shopping much more economical, but it’s also a super sustainable way to live your life. If you plan ahead, you can buy all your dry ingredients in bulk refill to save money and time.

Preparation

When shopping plastic-free, planning is a must. You’ll have to think about each item more carefully to make sure you can buy it waste free, or whether you can substitute it for something else. For example, dry ingredients like pasta, rice, beans, and lentils can all be purchased quite easily, however more specialised things may require some extra planning. 

We understand that not everybody has the time to spend slaving away at their stove all day, so here’s a couple of our favourite fuss-free recipes that only use simple, wholefood ingredients:

Vegan Squash & Black Bean Chilli                 Rebel Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower with Puy Lentil Puree   River Cottage 

Simple Kale Gnocchi (5 Ingredients)             Amanda Ducks 

No-Meat balls with Marinara Sauce              Katy Beskow

 

Beautifully Conscious 

It’s no secret that the beauty industry is one of the top offenders for plastic waste, contributing to 120 billion units of packaging waste every year. Here are some ways we can all go more natural.

Shampoo & Conditioner 

Here’s a list of brands that have recently added refillable haircare products to their range:

  • Kiehl’s

  • Fills

  • OUAI

  • The Body Shop

  • Faith in Nature

  • Milly & Sissy

Of course, Zero Waste shops are also a brilliant and efficient way to take care of all your hair-care needs. Simply take your empty bottles to your nearest shop and refill.

Makeup & Beauty

Here’s a list of Zero Waste Makeup Brands that are completely plastic free and offer take-back or refillable services:

  • Izzy Zero Waste Beauty

  • Antonym Cosmetics

  • Arthur Beauty 

  • Kjaer Weis

  • Axiology

  • ILIA

The ‘Plastic-Free’ Shine 

At Purdy & Figg, we believe that the only shine should be coming from your counter-tops, not your plastic collection! We understand that it’s easy to get lost amongst countless products, bottles, and brands - our post-Covid climate has us burning through cleaning products at a rapid rate. So, if your cleaning cupboard looks like it could feed (clean) an army, maybe it’s time you made the switch to green cleaning. Here’s how you can free up some space and reduce your plastic waste:

Refillable cleaning products 

Opting for refillable cleaning products such as our Counter Clean is a great way to reduce your toxic chemical output and limit your plastic waste. With Purdy & Figg, you will receive your own Bottle for Life which you can reuse and repurpose however you choose. Our products can also be used anywhere around the house, helping you ensure that those cluttered cupboards remain a thing of the past. You can apply the same concept to other areas of your cleaning, including laundry, at Zero Waste Shops.

Cleaning products you can refill from Zero Waste Shops:

  • Fabric Softener

  • Laundry Liquid

  • Dishwasher Tablets 

  • Hand Soap

  • Washing up liquid

  • Cleaning Vinegar 

  • Bicarbonate of Soda 

Ready to prevent plastic pollution? Let’s go! 

 

 

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