Johannesburg launches first plastic-free store

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Johannesburg now has its first plastic-free grocery store. The Refillery, located at Cedar Square in Fourways, sells a wide range of bulk products without any plastic packaging or containers. Shoppers can bring their own reusable jars and containers to collect and carry their purchases.The plastic-free store stocks many of the usual products that can be found in a supermarket, from dry goods and cooking essentials to detergents and personal hygiene products. The store promotes a zero-plastic waste lifestyle through its plastic-alternative product offerings. The store will soon stock fresh fruits and vegetables.Customers are able to buy a wide range of quantities and volumes of goods at The Refillery; anything between 5g and 5kg of dry goods and detergents. Shoppers weigh their goods and the total is calculated at the tills. The Refillery also sells glass jars for those shoppers who need containers or wish to start a plastic-free pantry at home.

Owners are promoting plastic-free lifestyle

The Refillery is owned by Sam and Dom Moleta. The pair decided to open the store and tackle plastic waste in 2018 after they participated in “plastic-free July” - a worldwide challenge that encourages citizens to refuse the use of plastic for the entire month.“We participated in that and found it challenging in a number of ways and it sort of sparked the idea of ‘how could we make this easier?’ and what can we do to reduce the plastic consumption issue that we've got,” says Dom.The Moletas became acutely aware of the scale of plastic litter and waste in our environment after travelling at sea. “It was a rude awakening for us. We have two small kids now and we want them to see the world in all her glory but without the piles of garbage and plastic that’s destroying it,” explains Sam.

No single-use plastic sold in The Refillery

Sam is proud of the fact that there is no single-use plastic products or goods in their store. “It was a huge challenge to find suppliers who were willing to change their packaging for us because we are also very small, so a lot of people just said 'no' off the bat. Now we are working with suppliers to make it completely a single-use plastic-free chain,” states Sam.The plastic-free ethos extends beyond the goods on sale. The Refillery even uses bamboo pens and plastic-alternative stationery in their offices. “We've got to live the brand and we’d be hypocritical if we weren't. So we have to try in every way we can to eliminate, not only single-use plastics but wasteful packaging or wasteful receipts,” explains Sam.The Refillery does not print paper receipts by default - customers who ask for a receipt will get one, otherwise, the paper is saved. “All those little things can add up to having an impact,” says Sam. Cedar Square shopping centre is located on Cedar Road, off Witkoppen, in Fourways.___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment. ___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries. ___Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.