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8 Great Reasons to Switch to Refillable Products

Updated: Jan 13

refillable cosmetics in pump jars

World Refill Day is an annual City to Sea campaign that strive to prevent plastic pollution and encourages living with less waste. By choosing to reuse, you'll be part of a global movement, helping to raise awareness of and increase demand for more sustainable options, in turn saving millions of pieces of plastic and waste from entering landfills and waterways. In this blog, we share 8 great reasons to switch to refillable products.

1. Cut Single-Use Plastic

Switching to refillable products significantly reduces single-use plastic consumption. 300 million tons of disposable plastic — like bottles and bags - are produced annually. 8 million tons of which enters our waterways and seas, breaking down into microplastics and harming aquatic life. An Oceana study found that refill systems could prevent 390,000 coffee cups from entering the sea in Denmark each year - imagine the difference multiplied across products and countries!

2. Save Energy

Taking bottled water as an example, researchers from the Pacific Institute in California, found that producing 500ml disposable plastic bottles of water can use between 5.6 and 10.2 million joules of energy per litre. That’s up to 2,000 times the energy needed to produce tap water, which costs about 0.005 million joules per litre for treatment and distribution — a great incentive to get refilling your bottle (and save money too!)

bottles of water

3. Reduce CO2 Emissions

Refillable products can help lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing, transportation and waste management of single-use items.

Research from The LCA Centre in the Netherlands says that buying a refill instead of a complete product can save up to 70 per cent CO2.

4. Conserve Resources

Refillable products can help conserve valuable resources such as water, oil, trees and natural gas. It takes approximately 3 litres of water to produce a 1-litre plastic bottle, according to AQUAholics Anonymous, highlighting the water-saving potential of refillable options. By eliminating the need for single-use packaging, refillables can help protect raw materials, reduce energy consumption, and minimise waste.

5. Refill not Landfill

The average person in the UK throws away 400kg of waste each year — seven times their body weight! And of the 26m tonnes of waste produced overall, 14m tonnes are sent to landfill. Landfill sites release toxic substances into soil and water, and account for 25% of our methane emissions — a greenhouse gas that is 28-34 times more potent than CO2. Switching to refillables can significantly cut the amount of waste sent to landfill.

aerial view of landfill

6. Pocket Friendly

Investing in refillable and reusable products can mean long-term savings for you! For example, disposable period products can cost £5000 across a lifetime, but a menstrual cup can last ten years. We see this effect in our cosmetics range too that includes refill options like dry shampoo, clay face masks and tooth powders — in compostable sachets, they are cheaper to send, reduce waste and include a discount.

7. Convenience

Zero waste shops and refill stations offer convenience by allowing consumers to use their own containers, and to only buy what they need.

Refill sachets of everyday items like cleaning and personal care products take up less space and leave less waste behind to dispose of. As the number of businesses offering refill options increases, consumers will hopefully have more access and choice in sustainable shopping.

8. Circular Economy

Refillable products promote a more circular economy, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible. By normalising reusing and refilling, and by offering options to replenish containers instead of discarding them, businesses, communities and individuals can help conserve resources, reduce waste, and create a more sustainable future.

Looking for more ways to get involved? Download the Refill App here to find lots of useful resources like local refill stations, plastic-free shopping options, and more.

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