Refill- package free Liverpool

by Melanie Sharp in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Refill- package free Liverpool
We did it
On 16th December 2018 we successfully raised £2,050 with 53 supporters in 70 days

Help launch Liverpool's first package free shopping service. Selling ethically sourced, package free products across the City.

by Melanie Sharp in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we’ve reached our first target- thank you so, so much for helping us. With any additional funding past this, we will be able to work on making the business even better by becoming ethically accredited from the start. We’d love Soil Association accreditation and to be on the path to becoming a B-Corp business as soon as possible. Thank you, thank you!

What are you supporting by donating?

We are launching Liverpool’s first plastic and packaging free shopping service.

We will be starting out in South Liverpool before the end of October 2018 by opening a self-service concession wall at Windmill Wholefoods- Liverpool’s Green Co-operative, L17.


By the end of November we hope to also be out on the road across the City. Attending Farmer’s Markets, Pop-up events and to eventually be providing a pre-order collection/home delivery service operating from our other base in L8.

Refill will offer affordable, loose, organic wholefoods on site at Windmill, accompanied by other everyday products in the other strands of the business.

We’ll be helping you to reduce your plastic/packaging waste by encouraging you to bring your own containers to refill and re-use.

We believe that buying in the old “weigh and save” method not only helps to tackle packaging problems, it could help you save on food wastage, and maybe even help you save some pennies in the process too.


Why are we starting the service?

Packaging waste and plastic pollution have quite rightly become a hot topic this year following the airing of the BBC documentary Blue planet, which highlighted the damage our care-free usage of single use plastics and other packaging, is having on our environment and it’s wildlife.

It is estimated that around 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean every year. After a few hundred years plastic eventually breaks down in to microplastics which are easily ingested by fish and marine birds 

As Sir David Attenborough said ‘The human race will regret it if we don't act on plastic now'.

We owe it to future generations to make any effort we can, to act on this problem, sooner than unrealistic government targets have set out.


Refill's Journey so far?

The research for Refill actually started back in 2012, when I left salaried employment. Dropping to a self employed wage meant living on a stricter budget per month for food and other essentials.

During this time I learnt to cut back on things that I previously hadn’t thought twice about having on demand, fancy personal care items, brand new clothes, etc. Naturally I learned I could live on a lot less.

As for many, my food budget was more of a challenge. I learned to get by through planning out a certain amount per week. I worked out how many items which I might do without and which I previously considered essential to culinary happiness.

Whilst I could get fruit and vegetables and other food items cheaply at various shops and supermarkets, my recycling bin was overflowing with plastic type packaging.

Already being an environmentally conscious individual, this started a journey of looking in to what I now know, and many others across the world know as, the zero waste movement.

Reading Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson, visiting Original Unverpakt (Berlin’s package-free supermarket) later in 2015, learning about the 5 R’s, and eventually visiting other zero waste stores and events here and there, has all been part of the research for this business.


It has been an amazing journey watching how the movement has grown and taken momentum, and even just from the start of this year, seeing how many like minded individuals there are across the UK and beyond that have/or are taking the leap to starting their own zero waste/package free store/business.

And so the time seems especially right, now, to put all of the research to good use and help others on their journey to a package free lifestyle.

What will the money help us achieve?

The installation at Windmill has already started, our shelving and super hygienic gravity dispensers are in place, and we’re hoping to be trading in around 2 weeks time.


However, we’ve realised there is so much more we need to purchase to get things up and running properly.

To mention a few of the higher end items we need-

2 x sets of scales (1 self-service for the shop and another basic set for markets, etc)

A small van plus insurance- for moving stock and home deliveries

Licensing for street trading

Our initial stock purchases

An ecommerce website set-up for online pre-ordering

We realise it’s a big ask, and to show our gratitude, we've now listed some rewards that are within our budget.

Refill will initially be operated by just myself and the help of some goods friends who will be volunteering on occassion.

We hope to eventually be in a position to employ one or two people, and to make a regular donation to the mental health charity Mind.

Should you wish to contact us- please use the following information…

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: [email protected]

Twitter: @Refill_Uk

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this through, and have a nice day.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

£5 Reward

We'll be sending you a thank you note and a handy mesh produce bag with a drawstring top- from Liverpool based company Just Little Changes. Perfect for refilling on your first visit to us.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

You'll receive a thank you note, a Refill tote bag and 10% off your first shop with us (excludes sales at Windmill Wholefoods- for Farmer’s Market & pre-order sales only).

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Thank you. We'll send you a Refill tote bag, and 7 x 300g bags of loose organic wholefoods (a selection of staples selected by us) straight to your door.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Even bigger thanks to you. A re-usable glass cup from Wirral based company Wave will be on it's way to you along with 8 x 500g bags of loose organic wholefoods (a selection of staples selected by us).

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Wow, mega, mega thanks to you. We're going to send you a Refill tote bag, a re-usable glass cup from Wirral based company Wave, 10 x 1kg bags of loose organic wholefoods (a selection of staples selected by us).

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