Bring and buy: A new refill grocers opens their doors in Balbriggan

by Gazette Reporter

Zero tolerance when it comes to waste is an abstract goal for most of us – but not so for one business couple who are set to open a grocery refill station in Balbriggan.

Brazilians Caroline Lazarin and her husband Rodrigo Prado have taken one giant green step in their adopted home town of eight years, and are hoping their eco gamble pays off.

Canisters at the ready, customers are invited to visit Green Grocer Refill Station from this Friday September 4 where they can shop plastic and packaging-free with a clear conscience.

Richard already runs ‘Cabana Café’ near the railway station which opened in January of last year, and the couple have noted a trend towards organic and locally sourced produce.

Caroline told Dublin Gazette: “Customers were regularly complaining that they can’t get more options in large retail outlets.

“So we are giving people more choices. As a local but smaller shop, we can hear what the customer wants and we will supply it.

“The amount of waste we produce globally is shocking, around 3.5m tons of plastic and other solid waste a day – yes, a day!  

“Rodrigo and I introduced this service to reduce the unnecessary packaging much of which is non-recyclable. We are endorsing a zero waste approach.”

Located at Castleland Park Shopping Centre, the innovative store will also incorporate a small coffee service with take-aways, creating three local jobs in the process.

Speciality grocery store

Caroline enthused: “We are truly a minimal waste grocery store, where you can bring your own containers and fill them with dried groceries and eco-friendly household alternatives.

“From dried fruit and nuts to locally produced natural skincare, we will have a wide range of organics too.”

Customers can choose from the shelves packed with nuts, pulses, cereals, chocolate, snacks, sweets, seasoning and spices, household cleaning products and toiletries.

And it’s not just food waste and packaging that Green Grocer is trying to reduce. The kitchen, Caroline notes, generates a lot of waste from kitchen towels to parchment baking paper and tin foil – and most of it is not recyclable.

“We have reusable baking papers from @ifyoucare_usa made from recycled material;  there are also cleaning products from the ECOVIBE range, sponges made from coconut fibres and a cactus scourer, made from beech wood and cactus fibres which won’t damage the non-stick coating on your pots and pans.”

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