Refill Revolution: How Refilleries Are Helping Promote A Zero-Waste Lifestyle
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s spring editorial intern Katelyn Rodriguez. Find her on Instagram at @katelynrodwrites. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
I was scrolling through my TikTok last weekend when a post about a refill store in Los Angeles popped up on my for you page. I watched the video a few times as the concept of a sustainable store sunk in. If you read my article on the ways you could reduce plastic usage, then you know sustainability is important to me. I had never heard of a refill store before watching the TikTok, but I immediately went on Google to see if there was a refillery near me in Central California. Numerous results popped up for surrounding areas and larger cities, but lucky for me, one locally owned refillery popped up. I was excited to see one so close to home, especially since I’ve been trying to find household product alternatives that are zero-waste. So, if you are also looking to be more sustainable and use more zero-waste products like I am, here is some more information on refill stores.
What are refill shops?
A refillery is a zero-waste store where you can stock up on essential goods once you run out. All you have to do is bring in your own reusable containers, such as mason jars, empty spice containers or oil bottles. However, shops also have containers available for purchase if you don’t want to bring your own from home or forget them. When you’re at the store, your containers are weighed prior to filling them up. Once you put the desired amount of product in each one they are weighed a final time to determine the price before you checkout. Then you’re good to go with your zero-waste products!
What products do refill shops have?
The products a refillery has depends on the store. I have seen some that have grocery staples, such as pasta, olive oil, lentils, nuts, etc. While others just carry zero-waste household and personal essentials like laundry detergent, toothpaste tabs, shampoo, conditioner and lotion to name a few. For example, the refillery near me solely carries household and personal products in-store, but they also sell items on their website, including zero-waste products from locally owned businesses.
How are they sustainable?
Refill shops are sustainable because they offer zero-waste and plastic-free alternatives for those looking to reduce their plastic usage or are currently living a zero-waste lifestyle. They also reuse their own containers and bins, which is keeping whatever plastic that may be being used out of landfills. Additionally, by encouraging customers to bring their own containers for their products or by providing containers for purchase, they are also promoting reusing and repurposing instead of just using the container as if it was single-use.
How do I find a refillery near me?
A quick Google search is a great way to start looking for refilleries near you. However, in my search, I also stumbled upon the website Litterless. This is a great source to find zero-waste stores in all 50 states. All you have to do is go to the website and click the “Where to Bulk Grocery shop” tab and then click on the state you’re in and it will bring up a list of various zero-waste stores all throughout the state in alphabetical order. The website also contains a guide for composting locations based in your state. However, if your area isn’t listed and you know of a zero-waste store or composting site you can submit info about these stores or sites to them and they will add it to the list.
Overall, if you’re looking to live a zero-waste lifestyle or are just trying to be more sustainable, shopping at your local refillery is a great way to start. I am looking forward to going to my local refillery to try some of its products and help support a local small business.
Have you been to a refillery before? Let us know in the comments!