Fill your own containers and help save the planet at new Buckingham store
Planet Refill aims to reduce plastic waste, by allowing people to reuse their own containers
A new refill shop has opened in Buckingham with a Grand Opening Day planned for Saturday June 26.
Planet Refill is Buckingham's first fixed refill shop, and it's taken owner Chris Styles nearly a year to get there, but he says the local support it has already received has been amazing.
Chris aged 38, moved to Buckingham from Oxford in December, after deciding it was the ideal location to set up what he originally envisaged as a wholesale business.
He said: "Buckingham stood out because it had motorways either side."
Chris's green credentials are impressive - he studied Environmental Science and Sustainability at Exeter University, worked for the Environment Protection Authority in Australia, and worked as a volunteer at a sanctuary in Thailand for elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industries, and to help rebuild people’s lives in Ishinomaki, Japan, after the city was washed away by the 2011 tsunami.
He set up Planet Refill in 2020, out of a desire to do something good for the environment, with the aim of reducing the amount of plastic and packaging waste going to landfill.
Chris posted about his new business on local Facebook groups, and was impressed to find hopeful customers turning up at his warehouse on Buckingham Industrial Estate.
"I got a lot of support," he said. "Mainly school mums coming in with their kids.
"I thought, hold on, I could just convert the warehouse. I did a little bit of research and saw that Buckingham hadn't had a fixed refill shop, so I went for it. My plans just changed completely."
With the help of some volunteers, Chris set about converting the warehouse to a retail shop, which officially opens on Saturday, June 26.
"I seem to have picked up a local base that we're hoping to expand," he said.
"It's been so motivating. People responded really well. I feel really welcome. It's been so lovely."
Currently operating as a one-man band, Chris hopes to be able to take on staff if business picks up.
He said: "What I would like to achieve through Planet Refill is to make people aware of what a zero-waste shop and lifestyle look like and to show them how easy and convenient it is to transition to one."
Customers bring their own containers, or buy one at the shop, weigh them before and after filling them, then pay.
Planet Refill stocks everything from spices, pulses, dried beans, cereals, coffee, sugars, baking goods, citric acid, pasta and olive oil from Greece to home and personal care products. All products are organic, vegan and cruelty free.
The shop also stocks a growing line of organic and vegan dog food, plus a vegan sweet pick and mix for the kidsKey workers and students get a 10 per cent discount, with ID.
Planet Refill is at Unit 8, Hillcrest Rise, Buckingham Industrial Estate - open from 9am to 5.30pm every day except Sunday and Monday. For more information, see planetrefill.org.uk