Although many South Africans are routinely reducing, reusing and recycling their waste in order to lessen the mountain of waste sent to landfill each day, this isn’t enough.
However, we’re still facing a world where there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.
The new global phenomenon of zero plastic in stores is making it easier to make the right choice for our planet – and The Refillery has opened its doors as the first zero waste store in Johannesburg.
The Refillery.co.za is an planet-friendly grocer offering a stylish, convenient, plastic- free, ‘weigh-and-pay’ shopping experience that helps you to stock and restock your pantry with the highest quality, ethically-sourced products without all the wasteful packaging.
Goods are displayed in bulk containers and customers can fill shop- bought (plastic-free) containers with the quantity that they desire, or bring their own reusable containers to save even more.
The store, owned and co-founded by Sam and Dom Moleta, opened its doors in Cedar Square, Fourways in March.
Dom told News24 that the idea of the Refillery was born in 2018 when his family participated in their first “plastic-free July” – a global challenge which sees people “choose to refuse” single-use plastic during July.
“We participated in that and found it challenging in a number of ways and it sort of sparked the idea of: how could we make this easier? And what can we do to reduce the plastic consumption issue that we’ve got?” Dom says.
Having spent six years working in the yachting industry and then in Thailand, the Moletas saw first-hand the impact that plastic waste has on the oceans and vowed to find a way to make a difference.
“The pollution that we saw in some parts of the world was so awful that we chose not to swim most of the time,” says Sam.
“Sadly, river and ocean dwelling creatures don’t have the luxury of making that choice, so we decided to focus on how we, as a small family, could make a change and provide what was needed in South Africa and, particularly, Jo’burg. So we quit our jobs and used all our savings to self-fund The Refillery.”