Less plastic and more composting - local farm shop steps up war on waste

By Claire Dukes - 1 March 2019

HealthBusinessAttractionsFood & Drink

The eco warriors of a local farm shop have gone one step further on their war on waste by introducing a brand new refilling station.

In an effort to reduce single use plastic bottles, staff at Purton House Organics have delighted customers by introducing a brand-new refilling station. Customers can now bring back their bottles to reuse and refill products such as washing-up liquid, fabric conditioner and sanitising hand wash.

The idea for the refilling station came from Purton House Organics shop manager, Kate Robinson, after receiving requests from customers to decrease the store's use of plastic. She said: "We've had a huge response – people are really ready for this!"

The shop already advocates minimal plastic use through their bespoke Vegetable Boxes service where they deliver fresh vegetables from the farm to customers - taken direct from the fields and placed into cardboard boxes. After attending a film screening about plastic waste Kate says she wanted to go one step further.

Kate said: "A team of us went to see the film 'A Plastic Ocean' screened by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and it was shocking and heart-breaking to see marine animals suffering from ingested plastic.

"I was inspired to take on the February Waste Challenge and tried to get all my landfill waste into a jam jar for a week. I thought I was good at this, but it was a real struggle to cram everything into the jar! However, I'm encouraged by the number of suppliers who are switching to compostable packaging – there's a revolution going on out there!” 

The farm in Purton is also known for its annual festival - Festival on the Farm. Each year, over the course of three days, the festival hosts an array of musical acts and organic offerings.

This year festival organiser and organic farmer, Rowie Meers, wants to implement more eco-friendly alternatives and will be introducing re-useable beer glasses as well as ensuring that food vans use recyclable packaging. Rowie said: "We can't use glass on the field because of the animals so we've used plastic tumblers in the past.

"Now we have sourced a cool pint-sized reusable cup which will be available to buy and makes a great souvenir too!"

Inside the shop itself Kate has also introduced a five-tier shelving system to prevent food waste. She added: "At the top is high quality fresh produce for sale, then short life produces at a reduced price. Anything not saleable goes into the staff kitchen for our lunches; veg waste that's not fit for humans goes to our pigs and finally any that's too far gone for them goes to our composting system and eventually back on the land.

"The drive to reduce waste is helped by sourcing food as locally as possible. People are asking us to go back to returnable glass bottles - we already do this for our local preserves, juices and honey because it's easy to put a small amount of glass into the car for a journey you're making anyway. But transporting glass bottles long distances uses a lot of fuel.

"I'm noticing a real buzz about this issue and I'm confident that things are going to change quickly – for the better!"



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