About

You are probably here because you want to eat organic produce that’s free from plastic packaging, and use products that are kind on your body & good for the environment. Well that’s exactly how The Refill Room began. I’m Gemma, my family and I opened The Refill Room in 2018, in our hometown, Leigh-on Sea, Essex. We opened our shop because we want to live on a healthier, happier planet. We believe that everyone can make a difference, no matter how big or small, to reduce their waste, live a more sustainable life, and help look after our planet.

Our Mission

It may seem like a drop in the ocean, yet we’re on a mission to eradicate single-use plastic to save our planet from plastic pollution. Research estimates 50% of the world’s plastic is used once and, sadly, only 9% is recycled. It’s crazy when you consider most plastic is not biodegradable and takes more than 400 years to degrade. Eighteen billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean, each year, according to National Geographic. Plastic is catastrophic for creatures living in the sea; it’s filling their bellies and clogging their airwaves. Not only is single-use plastic wasteful, but it’s also cruel and harmful to our planet.

We choose to sell organic food at The Refill Room because we believe in eating food that has not been sprayed by chemicals, it’s bad for our health as well as bad for our environment. Did you know there is up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms?

What can we do?

By making small changes to our lifestyles, we can minimise our consumption of single-use plastic. Begin by choosing package-free over plastic. Our Zero Waste Lifestyle PDF lists 30 ways to going zero waste. Much like the eight billion people who thought “it’s only one straw,” now we need eight billion people to think differently and choose the alternative. We’re hoping that the small changes we’re making will encourage us all to shop better, eat cleaner and think greener.

Who we work with

It’s important for us to work with independent companies who have the same ethos as us. The brands we work with are ethical and committed, like us, to creating a more sustainable future. The companies we choose to work with use natural ingredients, eco-friendly materials and minimal, plastic free, reusable/recyclable/compostable packaging.

Our Packaging

Our packaging is plastic free, we prioritise to reuse cardboard boxes and packaging materials from our suppliers. Your products will arrive to you with minimal packaging, whilst ensuring your products stay safe. We use paper based tape, which is recyclable and compostable, to seal your boxes. ​It would be great if you too could find other ways to reuse your boxes and packaging before sending it to be recycled.

Our Values

Our aim is to make sustainability simple whilst becoming closer to nature.

Join our zero waste community!

Start making small changes with our 30-day zero waste guide, and be the first to know about promotions and ideas to help save our planet, one refill at a time!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Zero waste is a movement, pioneered by Bea Johnson, to eliminate unnecessary waste from going to landfill by applying the 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Rot. We’d like to add Refill to that!

As much as we can, we choose organic because we want to give you access to food grown in premium soil without pesticides and other chemicals.

Here’s why:

  • Organic farming is better for the environment and contributes to a high level of biodiversity and the preservation of species and natural habitats.
  • Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture, and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.
  • Organic production makes responsible use of energy and natural resources.
  • Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer.
  • Organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food, according to some research. The reason: In the absence of pesticides and fertilisers, plants boost their production of the phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds.
  • Organic production enhances soil life, natural soil fertility and water quality.

We want to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, so we do our best to source local produce such as honey. However, many organic foods are grown in other countries, meaning there is no other alternative to importing some of our food. We strive to research our products in favour of locally produced and handmade, though this will always be an on-going process.

Around 70% of our foods arrive in large 25kg paper sacks. Some of our nuts and dried fruit arrive in large plastic bags, this is due to the oils in the nuts and the moisture of the dried fruits leaking. Whilst it is more efficient to use a much larger plastic bag rather than lots of smaller plastic bags, many suppliers are beginning to look into other alternatives. The sacks and bags we have are either reused or recycled. Our cleaning products, from Greenscents, come to us in large 25L plastic containers. These containers are then sent back to the company to be reused. This is the same for our Rapeseed Oils. Duchess Oils, a local company, collect the oil containers to be repurposed. Our homeware, skin and body care suppliers are also eco conscious and send our products in paper packaging or maize pellets.

We open seven days a week at these times:

Monday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Wednesday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Friday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday*
9:00am – 5:30pm

Sunday**
11:00am – 4:00pm

*Sourdough Saturday – 100% organic, traditional sourdough bread is available.

**Cashew Sundays – make your own cashew nut butter, every Sunday!

We love dogs, however, for hygiene reasons and to respect those with allergies, we ask that you leave your dogs outside. You’ll find a dog ring and a bowl of water by the bench.

Our suppliers refill our containers.

Of course! We encourage you to reuse and refill as much as you can. It’s single-use plastic we’re trying to eliminate, so don’t worry if you have plastic containers – as long as you’re reusing, you’re helping our planet!

We have many glass jars for sale in store in a variety of sizes. We do advise to clean your jars before refilling, to avoid contamination. If you’re buying new jars, it’s a good idea to either use our free paper bags first or invest in our organic cotton drawstring bags for transporting your food.

All our dry foods have a best before date. If you wish to know the best before date please ask. A best before date is a quality indicator that tells you the food is no longer in its perfect shape from that date. It may just lose its freshness, taste, aroma or nutrients. Luckily dry foods last for many months and are perfectly safe to consume, at home, after a best before date.

You’ll find almond milk and oat milk at The Refill Room – both are freshly made with just three ingredients. Our oat milk contains 10% gluten-free oats, filtered water and a pinch of salt. Our almond milk is made with 5% almonds, filtered water and a pinch of salt.