A Mobile Refill Shop
What sort of vehicle will house the mobile refill shop?
We have already found the vehicle we would like to purchase and refurbish for the community. It is an ex-Lewes Town Council Refuse Vehicle, like a large float. There are pictures below and you will see it needs some quite major work! The vehicle will be custom built to our specifications and we will be working closely with the gentleman who has sourced the vehicle for us and will be refurbishing it for us. He is based in Bampton, in Oxfordshire and we were really impressed with all the other vehicles which he had built or refurbished for his other customers. He is known nationwide for his work and does work internationally, too, so we feel we are in good hands.
How will the vehicle be powered?
It will be powered by electricity, by plugging in overnight to recharge. Across the week, it will call at each and every community surrounding Tisbury, and in Tisbury itself, on a widely advertised schedule. So, a bit like old-fashioned mobile libraries or ice cream vans but shining a light on how we have to live if we want to help save the planet.
How will the refill shop work?
We have already done lots of research into the most efficient ways to run low-plastic, low-waste refill shops – including visiting a couple, speaking to a couple and one of our Steering Group recently went on a course which has give us lots of ideas.
This is how the zero-plastic refill shopping experience will work for the consumer:
Bring with you any containers you have to hand and would like to use, whether glass jars or Tupperware, old takeaway containers or cleaned out icecream or yogurt tubs – any of these would be great.
We will sell a range of different sized, reusable jars if you forget yours as well as stocking paper bags for anyone who wants to try our refill shopping and doesn’t have their own containers.
We will be operating a specialised refill scale system: you tare weigh your container first, to remove the weight of the container, then you fill your container with whatever you are buying, weigh it again (the price will be based on what you are buying), label it and then pay.
This might sound a bit complicated but you only need to tare weigh your container once on your first trip to the shop – keeping the tare label on will make repeat visits quicker (the labels will peel on & off easily: when you wash your container, just peel the label off and stick it back on when the container is dry).
We will employ one full time driver/shop keeper who will be an expert in all the above and help operate the scales. Depending on how busy we get, we would also like to have a pool of volunteers in Tisbury and each of the villages the shop visits to help customers and keep the process a smooth & speedy one!
Where would it stop?
What will you sell?
We are open to suggestions, so please do let us know what you would like to see stocked in the shop. Initially we will focus on selling the basics in bulk: oats, cereals, pasta, grains, pulses, dried fruit, nuts & seeds, herbs & spices, baking goods, coffee beans and chocolate as well as sustainable personal and household products and detergents.
What we think is great about this way of shopping is that you can buy as much or as little you need of any one product which not only reduces the use of unnecessary packaging, but also reduces food wastage. This is something we can all do to help the push for a better, cleaner planet.
Below you will find a range of some of the products that we carry on the mobile refill vehicle. Our aim is to provide you with products that do not come in single-use plastic containers or wrapping. To replace the in built norms of using plastic bottles with bringing your own containers to fill up. All of the products we stock have been tried and tested by us to insure they meet the high standards you expect.
Changing our habits requires just gradual and small steps away from what we are used to, reducing waste, recycling what is left, reusing items when possible, repairing the things you do need while refusing the things you don't.
Here are just some of ways you can reduce reliance on single-use plastics
Make the switch from single use plastic jars and packaging to using your own glass jars
When possible support local producers while also reducing the carbon footprint of your purchased products
Replace plastic bathroom products with a sustainable decomposable alternative