A new plastic-free refill shop will be the first of its kind in the local area when it opens in St Leonards next week.
Wonderfill, which is set to open in King’s Road on Wednesday (July 3), will stock a range of food, household essentials and beauty products that avoid plastic or plastic packaging in an effort to help local people reduce the amount of plastic they throw away.
Customers will be able to bring their own containers to fill up from the store’s tanks and dispensers, with the additional benefit of being able to buy as much or as little as they like.
Growing public concerns about plastic pollution have increased the demand for zero-waste shopping options, with over 100 refill stores springing up in high streets all over the UK in the past year, including a recent addition in Eastbourne.
Wonderfill is being set up by St Leonards resident Hannah Robbins, who noticed the demand for a refill shop in the area.
She said: “Like lots of people I’d been trying to reduce my own plastic use for a few years but it’s not easy unless you live near a shop that is set up to help you avoid single use packaging.
“Very few people are able to live a completely zero-waste lifestyle – and hats off to them – but there are small changes that we can all make.
“You quickly start noticing the difference on bin day and it becomes quite addictive.
“The aim of Wonderfill is to help as many local people make as many of those small changes as possible, and since starting work on the shop and posting on social media I’ve had so many supportive comments that it seems reducing plastic waste is something the local community is really concerned about.”
Wonderfill will also stock a range of items that facilitate a lower waste lifestyle, such as refillable water bottles, natural fibre washing up brushes and a selection of locally-produced goods such as sustainable soaps and candles.
But although she is encouraged by local support on social media and the growing zero-waste movement, Hannah is realistic and said it was important to maintain pressure on decision-makers to take large-scale action.
“Can an independent shop turn the tide on the global plastic waste crisis? Almost certainly not,” she said.
“We still need to put pressure on our governments to take our environmental concerns seriously and encourage big business to make meaningful changes, but they are watching!
“Shoppers are demanding better solutions and together we are demonstrating that people care: our purchases are a vote for the kind of world we want.”