Zero-waste and plastic- free refill shops: A throwback to the past to save our future
Our current “convenience culture” (e.g., online grocery purchase, meal delivery) generates massive amounts of emissions, plastics, and waste across all elements of the value chain. Food waste is the most prevalent component in America’s landfills and given the average American throws away 1,642lbs of trash every year (source: EPA), that’s a jaw-dropping amount of waste piling up across our nation and seeping into our ecosystem. Compound the food waste issue with our dependency on single-use plastics and our environmental footprint becomes even more evident. We continue to churn through plastic containers, with most consumer unaware that only 6% of plastics are actually recycled (source: EPA).
How does the everyday consumer help correct this cycle? In reality, we don’t have to look very hard for a viable alternative. Refill shops are a vital part of a growing movement that allows everyday consumers to have a true impact. Although the idea of bulk-shopping has existed for decades, the “refill revolution” places an emphasis on reusing existing containers as well as creating a more circular food economy.
This session will provide participants:
* a unique glimpse into the refill retail store model, customer experience and impact one such refill store is making on its local community.
* a deep-dive on how to curate mission-based vendors, leverage innovative technology, and ensure the refill model is accessible to all segments of the population.
* an examination on how refill shops can help all of us take the small steps in our sustainability journeys by reducing food waste and our reliance on plastics.
Although virtual, this session will encourage audience participation and provide for the submission of questions to be answered prior to, during, and post the event.