7 Reasons to Support Local Refill Stores - oh-eco

7 Reasons to Support Local Refill Stores

It's no secret that plastic is bad for the environment.

Not only do plastic products contain toxic chemicals, but most of the containers, bottles, and other plastic packaging we use end up overflowing our landfills and polluting our oceans. It can take plastic 500 years to break down. And it never really goes away, it just breaks down into micro plastics and nano plastics that get into the soil and food we eat and water we drink. EW!

In a perfect world, everyone would recycle. But it turns out only 9% of plastics actually end up being recycled. So, what’s the solution to decreasing our plastic waste?

The answer may be closer than you think: your local refill store.

Read on to learn more about why you should support local refill stores, and how this form of sustainable shopping is making way for a more eco-friendly, plastic-free future.

What Is a Refill Store?

Glass bottles with pumps and logo of Oh Eco
 A refill store or “refillery” is
 a store that provides zero
 waste or low waste
 shopping options. They
 can sell everything from
 food to personal care
 products that are
 unpackaged or come in
 reusable packaging. The
 purpose of a refillery is to
 provide eco-friendly
 options that decrease
 plastic and other
 unnecessary single-use
 product waste.
Basically, refill stores are an alternative way to shop and help protect the environment.

Here are some of the items you can expect to find on the shelves of your local zero waste store that even goes beyond refills:

Personal Care Products:

  • Hair care
  • Face & body lotions/creams
  • Makeup, shaving needs, and more

Home Goods:

  • Kitchen utensils & storage
  • Bath supplies, toothpaste, and tools
  • Laundry detergents & other cleaning solutions
  • Gifts, decor & other accessories

Food & Snacks

  • Ethically-sourced spices & herbs
  • Dry goods
  • Dried fruits
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • & More

How Does a Refill Store Work?

Unlike your usual shopping spree, you don’t want to show up empty handed. The purpose of a zero waste store is, well, create zero waste.

That means you should come prepared by bringing containers of your own since many of the products sold in these types of stores are non-packaged goods in solid and liquid form.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy new fancy bottles. Just use what you already have laying around your kitchen: old mason jars, old tupperware, and any other reusable containers you can find - trust me, we've seen it all!

Many refill shops often sell reusable containers if you’re looking for high-quality and lasting containers that can be used again and again.

If you’re not sure what to expect during your first visit to your local refillery, here’s what a typical visit looks like:

 STEP 1:

 Once you
 get to the
 store, there
 will be an
 area for
 you to
 weigh the
 that you’ve


STEP 2: Fill Up

 You’ll notice that the shop has lots of large containers full of everything from toilet cleaner to body wash. Read the labels and find what you’re looking for, then start filling! 

STEP 3: Weigh Again

Once you’ve filled your empty containers, make your way back over to the weigh station to weigh the full jar. Deduct this amount from the weight of the empty container. 

STEP 4: Check Out

Head over to the register with your newly filled jars to check out. Voila! You’re a refillery pro now.

And of course, if you have any questions during your visit about weighing, where to find certain products, etc., feel free to ask!

How Can I Find Refill Stores Near Me?

If you’re looking to start shopping sustainably, then chances are you won’t have to search hard to find others in your community who are doing the same. With the rise of refilleries across the country, the closest refill store may be just a quick drive from you.

The best way to find a local refill store near you is to simply search “Local refill stores near me” or “Refill shop near me,” and make sure you allow your web browser to have access to your current location.

7 Reasons to Support Your Local Refill Store

If you’re eco-curious or a dedicated zero waster, check-out these 7 great reasons why you should support your local refill store:

Reason #1: Decrease Your Plastic Waste

In 2018 alone, the US generated more than 35.7 million tons of plastic

And where does all this plastic waste go? It piles up in landfills or ends up in places it shouldn’t: our streets, our oceans, and in the stomachs of unassuming wildlife.

You can be a part of the change by drastically eliminating your single use plastic at home. Ditch the plastic shampoo bottles, cleaning solution, and more by shopping at your local refillery.

Reason #2: Quick & Convenient

Doubling as a one-stop shop, these sustainable shopping options can make it simple to replenish all your cleaning solutions, beauty supplies, and sometimes even food all in one place!

No need to wait for one-day shipping when you can stock up on all you need in just a few minutes.

Reason #3: High-Quality 

Many of the non-packed items come from high-quality, reliable sources and contain non-toxic ingredients that are not only good for the environment, but good for you.

Next time you shop, ask your local refillery owner where their products are sourced from. There’s a very high chance these clean products are coming from ethically-sourced companies as dedicated to zero waste living as possible.

Can big name stores say the same? 

Reason #4: Only Buy What You Need

Don’t need a gallon of detergent?

No worries, at a refillery you get to control the exact amount of a product that you want. If you know you’re not going to use it all or just want to test out something new, then a refillery is right for you.

Reason #5: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Refilleries buy in bulk, reducing the amount of carbon emissions released into our atmosphere.

Think about all the planes, trains, and trucks required to get your small package from one place to another… and another…until it eventually ends up on your front door. When you shop locally instead of placing several online orders a day, you’re decreasing the amount of carbon emissions released into the air everyday from transportation.

Reason #6: Cost-Effective

Refill stores also tend to offer products at a lower cost than if you were to buy them at a big box store.

Not only are you saving the planet when you shop sustainably, you’re saving money! A true win-win.

Reason #7: Support Small Businesses

This is arguably one of the most important reasons of all. 

Everytime you shop at a local refill store, you’re supporting a small, locally-owned business that not only helps support the local economy, but helps promote sustainable initiatives in your community.

Interested in Sustainable Shopping?

Make the switch to zero waste, sustainable shopping and head over to your local refill store today! Your locally-owned small business, and the planet, will thank you.

At Oh-Eco, we want to help you take your first steps towards living a more sustainable life. We believe that you don’t have to be perfect to make impactful environmental changes.

To learn more about sustainable-ish living check out our blog, stay connected on social media, or view our online store.

In Orlando? Stop by our shop location to fill up or say hello!

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