Has it ever crossed your mind that a lot of waste is not needed? Well, obviously it’s not needed; that’s why it’s waste! I don’t mean that. What I mean is that it wasn’t really needed in the first place.
Take tea for example. Loose or bags. It comes in a carton, but when we get it home from the supermarket, we pour it into a caddy and throw the carton away. It’s served its purpose; it is of no more use to us. It doesn’t even have cards for us to collect any more.
Or liquid soap – and other cleaning products. When empty, we replace with a new bottle, and throw the old one away. OK, we’re careful to put it in the recycling bin, but that still uses energy. And you can’t recycle the trigger mechanism.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if we could just refill our tea caddies and soap dispensers, and cut out the unnecessary packaging?
The Hampshire Refillery
I came across The Hampshire Refillery about three years ago as a pop-up shop at The Point in Eastleigh – though the shop also ‘popped up’ at a variety of other venues. It stocks a wide variety of cleaning products and other waste-free items. The range includes toilet rolls; razors; hairbrushes; sun-care products; household cleaning; laundry care; kitchen cloths; body wash; and shampoo & conditioners -both liquid and bars.
The Hampshire Refillery’s mission is to make zero-waste products as affordable and accessible as possible. It is run on a not-for-profit basis, so prices are reasonable and compare favourably with those on the high street. In fact, on my first visit I thought I had been undercharged!
The Covid pandemic stopped the pop-up shops, and The Hampshire Refillery now provides a household delivery service. Deliveries are made at weekends, and Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford are supplied most Saturdays. Orders need to be placed by 2 p.m. the preceding Friday.
Ordering through the website (https://www.thehampshirerefillery.co.uk) is easy. Liquids are supplied in former drinks bottles, for you to refill your smaller containers. Your old bottles will be collected at the same time for refilling and delivery to other customers (please clean them and remove product labels first).
At the latest count, over 24,500 bottles had been refilled. That’s a lot of unnecessary plastic waste avoided.
The Spinney 53
The Spinney 53 is in Mayflower Close on the Chandlers Ford Industrial Estate. You take your own containers to fill from hoppers and jars of a wide range of dry goods and liquids, including cereals, pasta, spices, sweets, detergents, and fruit squash. Our furry and feathered friends are also catered for, with a selection of dog treats and bird seed.
In addition, The Spinney 13 sells a wide range of other environmentally-friendly products – reusable and/or recyclable and/or compostable – to replace the plastic-based items we are used to. Amongst other items, I bought a cellulose sponge and coconut fibre brushes for washing up. They are so much better than the synthetic sponge-scorers I have used in the past. They are more durable, they don’t get as clogged with grease, and when no longer serviceable, they can be put on the compost heap.
Here are a few photos of The Spinney 53, showing the range of goods offered.