A ZERO-WASTE shop hosted a council visit as part of a special day celebrating waste-free shopping.

Ecolnes Refillery in Earls Colne was visited by Essex County Council’s Climate Czar Peter Schwier for World Refill Day.

The shop was opened by Cherry McKean and Rachel Sprunt, who became friends through a Facebook group for people interested in sustainability.

Rachel said: “Through the group it became clear that many people wanted to refill locally so after a year of planning we were able to open the doors in April this year.

“It has been well received by customers who are new to refilling and by experienced ‘refillers’ alike.

“What we love most is that it gives people a real buzz to refill and do their bit for the environment, which we love to talk about and hopefully inspire one another to make those changes in the process.”

World Refill Day’s mission was to encourage everyone to stop using plastic food packaging, which is harmful to the environment and to our own health.

One way to do this is by using a ‘Refillery’ like Ecolnes in Earls Colne, where people can do their usual weekly food shop by buying items in the quantity they need, filling their own containers, or those they buy at the store.

On his visit, Mr Schwier, who is also councillor for the Hedingham division, said: “It’s been brilliant to witness first-hand how simple and enjoyable shopping from a refill store can be.

“To completely cut out the plastic packaging from my weekly shop is unthinkable in a supermarket, but here it makes total sense.

“What’s more, I don’t have to buy more than I need – I can pick and weigh out the exact amount to avoid food waste and cut unnecessary extra costs too. I’ll certainly be coming back.”

To learn more about how you can cut down on single-use plastic, check out the Love Essex website and the Circular Economy Directory.