Eleven months after opening, a refill store in Vernon prevented over 68,000 plastic bottles and containers from entering the environment.
Now, this same store has brought this service to Kelowna.
Saturday, Nov. 7 served as the official opening of Fill: Kelowna’s Refill Store, and a lineup of people remained steady throughout the afternoon.
Located at 3155 Lakeshore Rd, the store allows customers to refill containers with their favourite cleaning products, whether that be shampoo, soap, dish and laundry detergent, and more.
Teresa Sanders, founder and partner, said that in Vernon, their first location, they have been very well received. In Vernon, they were just recently named new business of the year.
“From the moment we’ve opened the doors, we’ve been embraced by people that want to ditch plastic, and want to help the environment,” she said.
Most of their products are either Okanagan or B.C. sourced. About 10 per cent of their products are not Canadian.
In terms of cost, you’ll find products that compare in price to local grocery stores, or you can pay extra for more organic, natural products. That being said, they aim to sell only eco-friendly products.
Prices for shampoo range from $12 to $23 per litre. Sanders explained that when you look at some of the brands they sell on other shelves, Fill sells refills for about 60 per cent of the regular price.
The Kelowna expansion was a dream come true for both Sanders and local store manager and partner, Gabi Dubland. Originally, Sanders came up with the idea for the Vernon store after questioning what happens to her recycling.
“About nine per cent of plastics get recycled worldwide… just that ability to help our communities locally with plastic reduction. It’s just so fulfilling to know that we are really making a difference,” she said.
The store aims to operate in an eco-friendly way, as well. Since opening their Vernon store in December 2019, they’ve made just two recycling trips.
“Kelowna just had a need, and we saw it, and decided to fill it,” added Dubland.
“Our goal is to make it easy, accessible and convenient for everybody. You’re going to go get your groceries anyways? Come fill up your laundry and your dish soap at the same time.”
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