A review of The Refillery, who are bringing Zero Waste Shopping to Jozi. Many of us routinely reduce, reuse and recycle in order to lessen the mountain of waste sent to landfill each day. We use environmentally friendly straws, buy fruit and vegetables ‘naked’ and take our own reusable bags to the store.
Sadly though, this isn’t enough and we’re still facing a world where there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.
Thankfully, the new global phenomenon of zero waste stores is making it easier to make the right choice for our planet – and The Refillery has opened its doors as the first zero-waste store in Johannesburg.
The Refillery is an exciting, new planet-friendly grocer offering a convenient, plastic-free, ‘weigh-and-pay’ shopping experience that helps you to stock and re-stock your pantry without all the wasteful packaging associated with a trip to the grocery store.
Goods are displayed in bulk containers and customers can fill shopbought (plastic-free) containers with the quantity that they desire, or bring their own reusable containers to save even more.
The store has launched its first physical store in the Cedar Square Shopping Centre in Fourways, Johannesburg. The online and bricks-and-mortar stores will both offer home delivery and refilling service, plus a call and collect facility.
Both stores are a culmination of a long-held dream for husband and wife team, Sam and Dom Moleta.
Having spent six years working in the yachting industry and then Thailand, the Moletas saw first-hand the impact that plastic waste has on the oceans.
They vowed to find a way to make a difference.
“The pollution that we saw in some parts of the world was so awful that we chose not to swim,” says Sam.
“Sadly, river and ocean-dwelling creatures don’t have the luxury of making that choice, so we decided to focus on how we, as a small family, could make a change and provide what was needed in Jo’burg. So we quit our jobs and used all our savings to self-fund The Refillery.”
The zero waste ethos tends to walk hand-in-hand with sustainably and responsibly sourced produce and The Refillery is no exception.
Shoppers can expect to find exceptional quality, mostly organic pantry staples such as nuts, grains and pulses, pasta and rice, cereals, superfoods, dried fruits, baking goods, teas, coffees, herbs and spices.
There is also a range of products to support a zero-waste lifestyle – including a skincare range, household cleaning, and personal hygiene products.
Dom says that they aim to offer a casual, friendly grocer-style feel in a simple, modern, ‘old-school cool’ environment.
“We don’t judge you for your lifestyle choices – we don’t care whether you’re into vegan, organic, flexitarian lifestyles, or ‘meat and potatoes’ South African, as long as you’re living as waste-free as possible. And we can help you do that.”
“Thanks to social media, we are finally starting to understand that our plastic obsession is having a massive impact on our planet. We’re delighted that The Refillery now makes it easier for the environmentally-conscious as well as convenience-seeking customers to play an important part in helping to reduce the plastic pollution crisis,” concludes Dom.
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