A South Manchester store is helping shoppers tackle the issue of plastic waste head on by introducing a bring-your-own system that allows customers to refill previously-used containers.
At Lentils and Lather on Burton Road, in-between Withington and West Didsbury, customers can bring their own jars or takeaway tubs and stock up on cereals, teas, herbs, rice, pasta, dried fruit, or even shampoo, floor cleaner, fabric conditioner and soaps.
The premise of the store is simple. Weigh your empty container before filling it with food or liquids, and then pay based on total weight after deducting the original weight.
Since opening just over a month ago, the store has become popular with like-minded individuals who are aware of the concerns regarding single-use plastic.
“Lentils and Lather represents everything we believe in and have been doing ourselves for years”, explains Paulina Janicka-Peachey, who co-owns the store with partner Carl Peachey.
“We’ve always tried to reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate by buying consciously and shopping locally, and now we're delighted to be in a position to help others do the same.”
The idea for Lentils and Lather started in 2012 when the couple would deliver soaps to customers by bike and fill up bottles at home.
The pair said their inspiration came from a growing desire to do more to help the planet and make active changes to use less plastic.
The co-owners believe that by being an independent business with a strong message, they are able to listen and connect with their local community.
“One of the great things about being a small start-up business is that we can adapt to the needs of our customers.
"We're chatting with those who visit our shop all the time to find out what's missing, how we can improve and how we have a greater impact.”