“Small changes when multiplied by millions can change the world,” says Jenny Brewer
Tipperary’s first refill shop has recently celebrated its first year in business.
Jenny Brewer, owner of Zero Waste Market Place, established the venture with Peter Binder, Clonmel Organic Growers at the end of October 2020.
The shop on Anglesea Street, Clonmel, behind the Denis Lacy Hall, is open from Thursday to Saturday every week.
A first of its kind in the area, it is a package-free, organic grocery store where you bring your own containers and fill up with exactly the amount you need.
In addition to an extensive range of organic wholefoods, the shop also has refills for shampoo and hair conditioners, along with cleaning and laundry options, as well as a large selection of plastic-free, sustainable items for all areas of the home.
Shoppers bring in whatever they want to fill - lunchboxes, tupperware, jars, bottles – as long as it’s clean and dry. You don’t have to buy new containers, just use what you already have.
Should anyone forget to bring containers, paper and compostable bags are on standby but bringing your own is encouraged.
“This way of shopping not only cuts out packaging waste but also food waste. Flexible quantities mean you can buy as much or as little as you like,” says Jenny Brewer.
“This may seem like a new concept but it’s not so long ago there was a shorter name for zero waste shopping; it was just shopping! There simply was no other way to shop.”
Jenny established Zero Waste Market Place in 2019 due to a lack of plastic-free shopping options in Tipperary.
“I was really surprised when I realised that the nearest refill shops at the time were either in Dublin or Cork.
“I attended a zero waste workshop in London to figure out the logistics of opening a shop like that,” she says.
“I then began by attending farmers markets locally to see if there was an appetite out there for sustainable shopping. There was and there still is.
“I set up my website in March 2020 and subsequently the refill shop in Clonmel in October 2020. It’s been a whirlwind but an amazingly enjoyable journey.
“My background is in the corporate travel business so this is quite a change but I couldn’t be happier.
“I absolutely love what I do and I love meeting and chatting with everyone who comes to the shop,” she says.
“I am looking forward to developing and expanding the business over time.
“We are all at different stages of our sustainability journey but small changes when multiplied by millions can change the world.”
Jenny’s eco-friendly products and organic wholefoods can be purchased in store, online or via the Neighbour Food groups in Clonmel, Cahir, Callan and Owning.
Further information can be found on www.zerowastemarketplace.ie
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