The holiday is approaching.  We are going to Turkey, Kalkan to be precise and I am making headway into the preparations.  I have e-visas, e-tickets and the hotel and car were booked online.  So far so good.

Yesterday I hit Boots for the suncream etc.

  • Suncream
  • Aftersun
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Insect repellant
  • Prescription refills
  • Antihistamine cream
  • Eurax for prickly heat.
  • plastic
  • plastic
  • plastic
  • metal
  • cardboard and blister pack
  • metal
  • metal

Not one of those was refillable.  The Body Shop used to offer refills.  When I was at school in Brighton we used to go to the very first Body Shop, it was in a back street in Kemp Town I think.  The labels were handwritten and every bottle was refillable.  Now that is no more and it seems we don’t have an appetite for reusing our own containers.

Most of us of a certain age remember collecting the pop bottles to take back to the corner shop in return for a handful of pennies which we then spent on garish gobstoppers, flying saucers and blackjacks.  We all had a milkman who picked up our empty milk bottles (and used to take me on rides on his wagon and let me feed his horse carrots).  Gone in many places now.

Why do we let it happen?  Why do we not fight back?  If you know of a company or shop who refills bottles (from milk to wine to shampoo, whatever.  One which will let you use your own containers.  Let me know.  It doesn’t matter where in the world you are.  I’ll add them to a list here on the blog.  It would be good if it were a list that “grew and grew like Topsy”.  But it will only go if we vote with our feet and our wallets.

11 thoughts on “refill

  1. Hi,
    Our local co-operative store in Willunga (South Australia) lets you fill up whatever containers you like with whatever you like – they sell nuts, seeds, grains pasta etc as well as other bulk stuff like dishwashing liquid, laundy liquid, honey, tahini and it goes on……! Or you can use buy one of their refillable/reusable containers. Awesome 🙂

    Oh, and on the subject of shampoo and stuff on holidays (or for everyday use as well), i use bicarb soda. It takes out excess oil without disrupting your skins natural oil production (i.e. conditioning) so it’s all i need to use. Cheao and easy too!

    cheers 🙂

  2. Good point! You know (I may be opening a new can of worms here) many items you can make yourself, though the raw ingredients come in containers, too. I made a mammoth supply of laundry detergent a few weeks ago, which I store in glass jars.

    1. No, not a can of worms at all. I use vinegar and bicarb as my standard cleaners but have yet to find a suitable shampoo that doesn’t make me smell like vinegrette. Would you like to do a guest post on home made laundry and household cleaning products?

  3. Of course on the market you can use your own containers and there are also places at the local farmers’ market where you can give your empty bottle/jar back so they can fill it again, but as for stores… I don’t know any stores where you can let your bottles be refilled, but Droom van Utrecht and Drogisterij Woortman let you use your own containers for tea/herbs/spices (both in Utrecht, The Netherlands).

  4. Gillie…It has given me a food for thought…still dont know a store in India who does that, but here we still buy alot of items loose…especially the food items.

    1. I think you are far better off in that you can buy most of your items loose if you want to. Sadly we in the West seem to think that packaged is better. How wrong we are.

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