LOCAL NEWS: Recycling Week 2019: How Dorset businesses are reducing plastic


This week is Recycling Week 2019 and is a celebration of recycling organised by WRAP.

Now in its 17th year, Recycling Week is designed to encourage the public to recycle more, by showing the benefits of recycling items from all around the home.  Recycling Week 2019 is from 23rd-29th September and is an opportunity to change people’s recycling behaviour. This year’s theme of Recycling Week is ‘Recycling: It’s in our own hands’ so we decided to find out what local people are doing to reduce waste.

In Dorset, many businesses are doing their bit and recycling all year round. Several shops and organisations are reducing their plastic in interesting ways.

Sunrise Organics is an independent vegan health food store in Bournemouth town centre. In October 2016, they introduced a liquid refill station and last year a dry food refill station was set up.

The liquid refill station consists of large containers where customers can come and refill their plastic containers with liquids such as hand wash, toilet cleaner or shower gel.

refill liquid

Liquid refill station at Sunrise Organics

The dry goods refill station is the same concept where customers can fill up plastic containers with foods such as porridge oats, pasta, raisins, kidney beans or lentils. 

Mark Lewis, owner of Sunrise Organics said the refill stations are very successful. “We have certainly seen an increased interest in the refills and I would say we have new customers coming in almost daily looking for ways to reduce their waste and cut down on plastic.”

The most popular items from the refill stations in the shop are porridge oats followed by pasta and rice and laundry detergent. 

Mark added: “There are so many people now wanting to make big changes to their impact on the environment and we can help them with that. Moving as much of your shopping to a zero waste option is a brilliant and relatively straight forward way to make a lasting change.”

Pamphill Dairy allow customers to fill their own containers with produce

Another business which is cutting down on plastic is Pamphill Dairy Farm in Wimborne. They have a plastic free section in their farm shop, where customers can bring and refill their own containers with vegetables or meats. 

Lulu Richards, a representative of Pamphill Dairy Farm said “In the shop and butchery we have tried to reduce our use of plastic where possible. We have now used up all our plastic carrier bags and now use brown paper bags. 

“In the butchery we use wax coated paper bags for a lot of our meat sales but we are happy for people to bring their own containers.”

In collaboration with Pamphill Dairy Farm, the neighbouring farmer has introduced a milk vending machine. The machine allows customers to bring bottles to fill up with fresh milk from the farm instead of buying a new plastic milk carton. 

milk vending machine

The milk vending machine at Pamphill Dairy Farm

This has become very popular amongst the locals because of the plastic free concept and the fact that it is so fresh.  Lulu said: “The milk machine is really popular for many reasons I think. 

“People love that the milk comes from the farm just over the road, they love refilling their bottles and they love the milk. The only reaction from customers is positive!”

Plastic Free Bournemouth

A volunteer organisation Plastic Free Bournemouth are helping individuals and businesses in Bournemouth to reduce single use waste and become more sustainable. Their aim is to help Bournemouth achieve a Plastic Free Status.

They have introduced a ‘beach toy borrow box’ along the seafront where people can share or donate beach toys that have been collected in litter picks. They also run litter picks regularly and visit local schools to deliver education workshops about sustainability.

Several other businesses across Dorset are also doing their bit and cutting down their plastic use.

Kelly Eye Care in Bournemouth, Brockenhurst, Poole and Ringwood has introduced refillable spectacle lens cleaner spray. Customers are able to take a leaflet from in store to claim their free refillable bottle where they can refill their lens cleaner every time it runs out for free. 

2019 is the year of many protests and marches for the environment, so WRAP see this year as a great opportunity to for them to inspire and support citizens to take action and make recycling the new norm. 

For further information about recycling week visit WRAP’s website.

For further information or to volunteer for the organisation Plastic Free Bournemouth then follow the link on their Facebook page.  


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