A supermarket in Jersey has become the first in the Channel Islands to introduce a 'refill station' in its flagship store to help reduce plastic waste locally.
At the Co-op's Grand Marché St. Helier store, islanders will now be able to buy a range of cupboard staples including pasta, rice, cereal and nuts without the plastic packaging.
In total, the refill station will sell more than 30 loose products, which will change on a regular basis.
Customers will be able to take their own reusable container into the store, fill it and then weigh it, and then place a label with the price onto their own container.
Your Co-op is excited to become the first Channel Island supermarket to offer customers household staples, such as flour, pasta, rice & cereals, unwrapped. Our refill station in Grand Marché St Helier is now ready to use. Will you be trying it? https://t.co/x58CXvP10i pic.twitter.com/MLUJ1PZafC— CI Co-operative (@CI_Coop) July 27, 2020
The move is one of several introduced by the Co-op in the past year as part of a bid to reduce its impact on the environment.
Last year, it worked with local milk producers Julia and Darren Quénault, owners of Classic Herd, to introduce a milk vending machine to both Grand Marché St. Helier and Locale Charing Cross.
The business has also removed plastic packaging from a number of local products.
Pictured: Some of the 30-plus items that will be sold at the refill station.
Co-op CEO Mark Cox commented: "As an ethical and responsible retailer with sustainability at our heart, we are always looking at ways in which we can reduce the amount of plastic in our stores.
"We also know that our members care about the environment, so we took their comments on-board and we have committed to reducing plastics in our stores wherever we can.
"It’s hard for a supermarket to eliminate plastic packaging entirely but we can bring in fantastic initiatives, like our new unpackaged refill station, which helps to reduce the impact that plastics have on our environment."
Pictured: CEO Mark Cox at the refill station at Grand Marché St. Helier.
The news comes months after local waste-free shop Mini Mall had to shut its doors.
Based on the corner of Halkett and Hilgrove Street, the shop was set up in 2018 to promote a 'minimal impact' lifestyle, offering whole food in bulk, cleaning and self-care products as well as a self-serve salad bar, coffee machine, orange juicer and a section of children's clothing.
It had to close its doors during lockdown, but later announced in May that the pandemic had forced it to close its doors for good.
Announcing the decision to close on Facebook, owner Sonya Lavery wrote: “Be kind and look after our precious planet, which appears to be repairing itself, perhaps one of the success stories from this crisis. Hopefully we don’t go back to the wasteful ways of life as before and, instead, start to enjoy the simple things whilst treading softly on our precious mother earth."
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