Hoping to help the environment by reducing plastics, a zero waste store in Summerland is encouraging people to move towards more reusable containers, especially with an increase of single-use items during COVID-19.
“With COVID, unfortunately there’s been a lot of plastic waste. We were doing really good last year and I noticed we kind of stepped back a little bit,” Angela Machuik, owner of Replenish Refillery and Zero Waste Store said.
“But I think it’s the way of the future. I’ve had so many positive comments, people coming in and I think people really just want to make a difference.”
Featuring strips of laundry detergent, toothpaste capsules and cleaning products all available to be filled in plastic, glass or metal containers, the store wants to make it easy to be low waste. Especially since the use of plastic containers, shopping bags and cleaning products have gone up.
Replenish was announced back in March, and was supposed to officially open back in April, but because of the lockdown had to delay the store launch.
“The grand opening didn't really happen. What we did was curbside pickup and we did some delivery,” Machuik said. “Now that everything is starting to open up again, we’re doing really well. We’re seeing more people coming in every month.”
Once her spot inside of Beadtrails Experience Store was starting to be known, Machuik said she saw a lot of support from locals.
“I think that more people now more than ever want to support local. They want to support a local company and a small business."
The store was also easily able to adapt to safety protocols and sanitization. Machuik requests that people bring in already cleaned and sanitized bottles to fill, or they have their own stock ready to go for the customers.
From there, customers will sanitize and fill from the larger, regularly cleaned bottles and weigh what they’re taking to purchase.
“It is going to be a little bit more work than just going to the store and grabbing something off the shelf and going home. But the amount of effort it takes to pop in and it just takes minutes and it makes such a huge difference cutting back on the plastic.”