A natural health hub in west Wales has produced a short film to highlight the increasing threat of plastic pollution and encourage a change in buying behaviour through the use of refill services.
The film, produced by The Ark in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire highlights a statistic from Raw Bottles sustainable development charity – ‘more than 60% of UK household plastic waste is from bottles such as drinks, milk and toiletries’ and in a bid to explain why we should care about plastic reaching our oceans, announces that ‘70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants, so we need to take care of it’ (Surfers Against Sewage charity).
The film also celebrates that ‘things are changing for the better’ sharing local success of a new recycling scheme implemented by Pembrokeshire County Council, through which 10% more household waste was recycled in 2019/20 than the previous year.
Yet the key message in the film is to show the community that it is possible to reduce the amount of plastic discarded considerably by making changes to the way they shop. Consumers are now better informed about the options available to them and in addition to making conscious decisions about reusing bags and choosing plastic-free packaging, they also have access to new methods of shopping such as refill and scoop & weigh stations.
This change in buying behaviour is echoed by research in 2019 from GlobalData that revealed around 71% UK shoppers would be interested in shopping from bagless fruit and vegetable aisles and refill stations. And in 2019, Milk & More, the UK’s biggest doorstep delivery company reported 70,000 new customers asking to have their milk delivered in reusable glass bottles.
Bristol based environmental organisation, City to Sea, who run the award-winning Refill campaign have prevented more than 100 million plastic bottles from entering our waste stream through a UK wide water refill mapping scheme and in 2020 they expanded their campaign to include refills points for coffee, lunches, groceries, cleaning products and more.
Lise Matthews, owner at The Ark and natural health practitioner shares her passion for championing plastic reduction from her home town of Haverfordwest,
“The Ark has been providing refill services and plastic free products for years and it’s encouraging to see an increase in customers considering the impact of how they shop, yet there’s still a lot to do to reach global change.
It is inspiring to see local authorities upping their game to recycle more, saving less from landfill and we are keen to join the campaign, to change behaviour much earlier by educating the community about why they should care and how they can help. We made this film to remind people of the challenge and raise awareness of alternative shopping methods that can now be accessed throughout the UK.”
In addition to a comprehensive range of plastic free natural healthcare products, customers visiting The Ark can benefit from refilling their own containers with products such as shampoo & conditioner, hand soap and washing detergent. They can also purchase loose foods through a scoop and weigh system including pasta, nuts & seeds, loose leaf tea, cereals and more.
“Customers often comment on the money refill saves them in addition to feeling good that they are doing something positive towards sustainable living.” shares Lise.
City to Sea’s Policy Manager, Steve Hynd added,
“It’s great to see businesses embracing the ‘Refill Revolution’ and using innovative mediums like this film to communicate with their customers about why they are doing what they do. Through opting to refill at businesses like ‘The Ark’ customers can all do their bit in tackling plastic pollution”.
To watch the film and find out more about refill services, visit The Ark website.
To discover the global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill, visit www.refill.org.uk