Flying start for Lancashire zero waste refills shop

A Lancashire zero waste shop is off to a flying start, just as the cost of living rockets and worries about the environment remain.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 4:55 am

Stephanie Reed, owner of Reed's Refillery in Market Street, Chorley said that people are getting behind the idea of cutting out packaging waste by bringing their own containers to be filled up at the eco-friendly store.

After its official opening by the Mayor of Chorley, Coun Steve Holgatem, Stephanie, who was inspired to launch her business by the need to cut back on use of petrochemical packaging and waste in the UK’s drive towards being carbon neutral to prevent global warning, said the idea was taking off in the area.

The shop offers a range of items such as foods, toiletries and cleaning products, using state of the art dispensing equipment to keep products fresh, hygienic and easy to decant into containers.

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The Mayor of Chorley Coun Steve Holgate officially opens zero waste shop, Reeds Refillery in Market Street Chorley

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Alongside consumables, the shop stocks eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items, and offer refills on laundry detergent, hair care products and a wide range of other liquids.

She said: “The business has started off really well. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from those who visit; I get comments several times a day of ‘What a good idea’, ‘This is just what Chorley needs’, ‘I’ll be back with my jars, bottles and boxes.” I already have a regularly returning customer base.

“My customers are particularly drawn to the plastic-free purpose of the shop. They are willing to make the effort to refill their household liquids rather than buying new and to source liquids which are kinder to the themselves and the environment.

The Mayor of Chorley, Coun Steve Holgate performs the official opening of zero waste shop Reeds Refillery in Market Street

“They acknowledge the more affordable prices and quality of the dried foods and herbs/spices, again free from packaging and free to take as much or as little as they like, rather than a set weight from a pre-packaged outlet."

She said that with the cost of living getting ever higher, having Reed's Refillery allows customers to make savings with her herb and spice jars only costing pence to fill up, compared with supermarkets.

She said: “For example, filling a herb jar with basil at Reed's Refillery costs 26p, compared with 41p at Tesco and 65p from Swartz.

“Additionally, they welcome that many of the non-food products in the shop are by local makers and businesses, such as the greetings cards and bath bombs.”

She said her plans for the future include extending the opening hours of the shop gradually to meet demand and after becoming acquainted with the other small businesses in Market Street, encouraging the council further into supporting and celebrating the area having almost filled all the empty retail units.

She added: “Additionally, I want to work with local schools, having been a teacher previously, to support their education of environmental awareness and to make schools themselves more eco-friendly.”