Words by Smiley Team
Packaging is on almost everything we buy, so the more we can reduce it, the better. Refill shops are great for this, but they aren't accessible and affordable for everyone.
What we need is big brands to step up and help us with that shift. Case in point: Marks & Spencer is now trialling their own brand of refillable homewares.
The trial will include laundry and cleaning products that can be refilled. ‘M&S Refillable’ will include eight pre-filled products, created by M&S, including laundry detergent, washing up liquids, fabric conditioners and more.
Initially, the refillable homewares will be available in two stores: Bluewater and Stevenage. But over the summer, it'll be extended to four other stores in Stratford City, Hedge End, Aintree and York Vangarde Retail Park.
The homewares have been created in collaboration with Re, which creates an alternative to plastic packaging which can be refilled and reused without creating more waste. Re has hundreds of refilling stations, where customers can take their empty packaging and refill without buying and throwing out more plastic.
The M&S homewares will require an initial deposit of £2 for the refillable bottle which comes in 500ml, 700ml and 1L sizes and can be returned to the store after use. Once returned, the customers will receive a £2 coupon which can be used against another product in the range, while their used packaging will be returned to be cleaned and reused.
The durable materials used mean that the packaging will last for a long time, withstanding many uses and washes before it needs to be retired.
Refillable, reusable packaging is a much more sustainable way of selling products. Particularly for homeware and cleaning products, they often come in plastic bottles and boxes, which may end up polluting our oceans and our environment, causing harm to wildlife.
The response to the trial so far is positive, with customers buying the most popular product from the range (citrus lemon washing up liquid, in case you were wondering!) almost as much as its single-use packaged equivalent.
DONATE: Give to Greenpeace, a charity which uses non-violent action to inform people about the importance of protecting the environment, and is aiming to stop fossil fuel use.
GET INVOLVED: Work with Climate Outreach and join their training to learn how to educate people and businesses about the climate crisis.
SUPPORT: Help out Friends of the Earth and join them in cutting carbon emissions and saving important wildlife like bees, that contribute to our beautiful and complex environment.