AN eco shop owner in Saltaire has saved 65,000 pieces of plastic from landfill and our oceans since opening six months ago.
Joel Harratt from Giddy Arts says he has seen a rise in customers using his refill stations for household products, cupboard essentials and recycling scheme as awareness of climate change rises.
Joel worked out the figures based on the estimated swaps to more sustainable items instead of plastic bottles, wipes, cling film and cotton buds as well as people switching to shampoo bars or eco food wraps.
He also sent 13kg of crisp packets – estimated to be between 2500 – 3000 – and 8kg of biscuit wrappers for recycling, all donated by loyal customers.
Joel told the Telegraph & Argus: “That’s from refilling bottles, shaving bars.
“It’s been brilliant. We’ve got a great local community that come here regularly.
“I really am blown away. In the grand scheme of things this is a tiny shop addressing a small part of the problem, but it goes to show how small changes add up.
“We get the same regulars every day, every week.
“We are seeing lots of people changing their habits.
“I can see my habits have changed by the big supermarkets. Five to ten years ago there wasn’t a focus on plastics and it wasn’t anyone’s agenda.
“We see it in the news all the time. We’ve just become more aware of this issue.”
Joel was first inspired to open an eco shop after seeing just how much plastic is used on an industrial level by retailers.
Whether it was packaging or transport, the former retail worker says “there’s just so much plastic everywhere”.
“It’s always in the back of my mind.”
In the hopes of boosting his offering, he now plans to take the shop into what he describes as “the next phase”.
His plans include a new range of loose food refills like rice and pasta in bulk.
There will be more liquids, better choice of scents and more fragrance free options.
Joel hopes to select locally sourced tinned or jar goods like chutneys, honey, jam and vegan goods as well as coffee bean refills.
And he’s not just helping change the mindsets of his local community with many tourists on international coach trips stopping by and buying small items.
He explained: “It’s a small drop in the ocean but we’re one small shop.
“I can make a difference here in our community.
“The main thing is small changes.
“It’s not a case of all or nothing.”