The people behind Hampshire’s zero waste movement
- Credit: Archant
We talk to some of the passionate people behind Hampshire’s zero waste movement
The zero waste movement has one fundamental goal: to create as little rubbish as possible. And a growing number of zero waste shops are springing up across Hampshire.
Fleet Scoop, Fleet
After setting up a Facebook page called Keep Fleet Clean, Kate Cottrell discovered she wasn't the only person who was trying to cut out plastic. When someone posted about a zero waste shop in Devon, Kate loved the idea and the seed was sown for Fleet Scoop which opened on 1 January 2019.
"The idea is that you bring your old, clean containers to fill up with dried food items," explains Kate. "Old pasta bags, plastic lunchboxes, glass jars, paper bags and all manner of other containers have been brought in to refill.
"Zero waste shops are about eliminating single use plastic and reducing other waste. For example, by only buying what you will use. By providing products which are chemical free, vegan, ethically-sourced and sustainable - we are reducing the impact of our living on the environment.
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"Some items are hand-crafted by a local lady who makes produce bags, reusable sanitary wear, baby bibs, cosmetics wipes and reusable kitchen roll. We also have household liquids - washing-up, laundry, shampoos and conditioners. Everyone has been incredibly positive, we have been busier than I could dared to have hoped."
The Naked Pantry, New Milton
The Naked Pantry is the first zero waste shop in the New Forest. "We are located equidistant from both the New Forest and the beach and, as such, have a huge responsibility to the environment, to help protect what we have on our doorstep," explains founder, Kath Sirl.
"A zero waste shop is the perfect way to help encourage people to be more mindful about their shopping habits," says Kath.
"We can help customers to buy only what they need and so discard less unused food, making savings all round. First time visitors shouldn't be scared, but should come in to see us. If they want to make any purchases then they just need to bring some empty, clean containers. We are here to help them learn how our dispensers work and how to make sure they get all they want and also offer a wish list board where they can add items they'd like us to stock, if we can source them plastic free and affordably."
The shop stocks dried goods, including loose leaf teas and coffee. "We can grind coffee beans on site and also have the machines to make fresh plant-based milks - as well as various nut and seed butters right here in the shop," says Kath.
Future plans include a website to offer customers a click and collect service.
Eco Freaks Emporium, Gosport
Chloe Cobb opened Eco Freaks Emporium in August 2018.
"The concept was floating around in my head for a little while as I also run the Trash Cafe (The Real Junk Food Project South Coast) which is part of an organically-grown national concept.
"We rescue food waste and then distribute it. The food is still perfectly fit for humans. Anyone and everyone can access the food and they decide the value - in time, cash, skills or item donations. We have a base, pop-up cafes, shopping boutiques, hampers and are currently building a training kitchen to teach all ages to cook and build their skills in the kitchen."
The Trash Cafe is a social enterprise run by volunteers and money raised goes back into it. "Because we were tackling food waste we often ended up with other problems which needed solutions - food that would need using quickly, plastic waste that we had no control over and unhealthy food," says Chloe.
Eco Freaks Emporium is like a supermarket, stocking everything from dry food goods to household cleaning items and customers can also buy goods online.
"All our items fit into at least one of the following: eco-friendly, plastic free, sustainably sourced, Fair Trade (or equivalent), local or organic - in most cases they are a mixture."
She adds: "I believe we are the only online store that sells our loose food products in quantities of 10g."
A second store is opening in Havant during the summer.
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