Having just found my nearest refill shop in St Albans (The Refill Pantry), I was actually surprised to discover a lot more not too far away at all. They are popping up in a lot of towns around the country, but particularly in Hertfordshire. So I thought it would be handy to post the ones I know of on here and if you know of any others I will keep adding to the list. Definitely go and visit them, they are a completely refreshing shopping experience – you won’t look back!
If you are wondering how refill shops work – scroll to the bottom of this page for all the details.
Clean Earth Pantry
Saturday Market, High St, Berkhamsted HP4 3AP
At the Saturday Market held on the first Saturday of every month (unless otherwise stated)
*Note: Clean Earth Pantry currently don’t have a physical shop but are at the market and online
Replenish and Reuse
45 High Street, Buntingford
Opened: February 2020
Website: coming soon!
B Green Store
19 Birch Green, Hertford
Village shop & cafe
Replenish Refill Store
10 Railway Street, Hertford
12-14 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3ET
firstname.lastname@example.org | 07525 177199
What are refill shops?
Refill shops offer a sustainable way to shop, through stocking products without the typical packaging and eco-led items for the home and personal use. With more consumers wanting to reduce their plastic intake and shop more locally, these shops are becoming popular particularly in my home county of Hertfordshire.
How does a refill shop work?
- Get your containers ready!
To get the best out of a refill shop you should take your own containers or bags with you to fill up on what you need. Whether that be foods such as pasta, rice, cereal to loose tea or herbs. They also often offer things like washing detergent too so take a variety of containers to hold different types of products.
- Weigh your container on the scales available
Without anything inside your container simply weigh it and keep a note of what that is so they can take that off the weight once the container is filled.
- Fill your containers to your hearts content
It is a really fun experience filling your containers but can also be easy to get carried away. Keep in mind buying what you need and not buying more than you need in order to reduce food waste overall – you can always go back for more fresh produce once you’re ready for it.
- The weigh in
The staff will help you weigh the products and will take off the container weight you found out earlier. So you simply pay the difference for the weight of the product you are buying. Each product has it’s own price done by weight.
Of course the staff are there to help you all the way. So if it’s your first time visiting a refill store or you simply need help, they are always there to assist. Once you get used to this new way of shopping there will be no looking back!
What type of containers can I take with me?
Literally anything you have around your home that is clean and can close to hold the items you buy! From bottles, any type of bag, cereal boxes, jars, tubaware, takeaway boxes, bottles or even baking tins. Don’t feel bad about taking plastic containers in with you (even though they are plastic free stores), it’s better for the environment that any plastic you do have in the home gets reused, so this is a perfect use for any jars or boxes to avoid them going into our landfills.
What if I have an impromptu buy and don’t have a spare container or bag?
Don’t worry – these refill shops get a lot of these scenarios. They often have spare bottles available to purchase and then you can use these containers next time for your refills. Also they tend to have decomposable brown bags available that are handy for a range of products.
Are kids allowed in refill shops?
Of course! In fact it’s something we want to encourage more of as our future generations. We need to encourage this plastic free way of shopping so is not only educational but fun for your little ones to be involved in too!
I own a refill shop – can you add me to this post?
Yes of course! Simply get in touch and include some photos and we can add you in no problem – the more the merrier to spread the awareness of these fantastic shops!