A completely plastic-free shop - ‘Fetch‘em from the Cupboard’ - has just opened in Ashtead. It was founded by Tracey Harwood who decided to open the store in Ashtead after the success the same shop gained in Fetcham. The concept behind the store is to sell groceries and other household items with zero plastic packaging. It is an alternative way to buy the groceries needed yet without the damaging environmental consequences of the plastic most items usually come in.

The shop has a great variety of products ranging from fruit and vegetables to quinoa and spices. They also sell hand soaps, shampoo, laundry detergent and other household items all from large dispensers where you can either purchase reusable containers or bring in your own. The cost is based on the weight of the product which you weigh yourself on the weighing scale, excluding the price of the container you brought.

The local community in and around Ashtead appears to be embracing this eco-friendly initiative with many messages of support being posted on the store’s Facebook page. The venture has already raised over £1200 through a JustGiving page to help fund the purchase of necessary equipment such as fridges and loose produce dispensers.

It is estimated that every year, 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enter our oceans killing 100,000 marine mammals and one million sea birds. By 2050, scientists have estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Many items come packaged in single use plastic, such as crisp packets which cannot be recycled, and so find themselves in oceans where it takes on average 450 years for the plastic to decompose. These facts are devastating and it is essential that we reduce our reliance on plastic if our ecosystems are to continue to survive. Initiatives such as ‘Fetch’em from the Cupboard’ are a great example of how we can all contribute to doing so.