Hot on the heels of Penarth being awarded ‘plastic-free’ status, two Barry residents, Stuart Burnell and Amy Greenfield, are fundraising to open the Vale of Glamorgan’s first Zero waste store, on Holton Road in Barry. The business, called Awesome.wales, will also host a coffee shop and community hub hosting workshops and cooking demos.
Awesome.wales will be a plastic free shopping experience with no unnecessary packaging. Instead shoppers will bring their own jar, bag or container to pick from over 450 items including oats, rice, spices, fresh fruit and veg, bread, cakes, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, soap and shampoos.
Awesome.wales will also offer eco-friendly products including bamboo toothbrushes, metal straws, reusable coffee cups and double walled water bottles..
Stuart Burnell, Director of Awesome, said “Our aim is to help local residents to protect the environment while doing their weekly shop. Most of the products in-store will also be cheaper or comparable in price to the supermarket, so you’ll be saving money as well as the planet. But we can’t do this on our own, so we’re asking for the local community’s help, INdividuals and businesses can make a www.crowdfunder.co.uk/awesomewales. In return for your pledges we have over 25 different rewards available, from getting your name on our wall of gratitude, sourdough starter kits, reusable coffee cups and free coffees,to our Awesome day out if you are feeling particularly generous. Whatever your preferences we are sure you will find a reward to your liking and definitely worth pledging for.”
The local entrepreneurs aim to offer products that are ethically produced and locally sourced, their bread is sourced from nearby Penarth, glass bottled milk comes from a dairy in Barry, even their coffee beans are roasted by Uncommon Ground Pontypridd. And they haven’t forgotten those with special dietary requirements as they’ll be including vegan and gluten free options, as well as cruelty free toiletries.
Awesome is a social enterprise which means the local community is vitally important to the business. With this in mind we are hoping to use our coffee shop space to hold community events and workshops, including hosting Barry’s first Repair Cafe, a monthly event where you can get your broken items repaired instead of sending them to landfill. They will be hosting cooking workshops teaching young people how to cook from scratch using healthy wholefood ingredients. There will also be educational, environmental workshops where you will learn how to make your own cleaning products such as fabric conditioner and beeswax wraps which are an eco friendly alternative to clingfilm. All of these workshops and events have a dual purpose to reduce wastage and to create a community spirit and atmosphere.
As a Community Interest Company profits from the company will be invested in local community groups and activities, allowing more people to become involved and decreasing social isolation.
Amy Greenfield, the company’s co-director said “Like many people, we watched in horror the BBC documentary ‘Blue Planet II’, and realised that something needed to be done to save our environment. Mankind’s current reliance on plastic cannot continue without it having a devastating impact on the environment and wildlife, we’ve all seen the terrible pictures of sea life being affected by plastic waste in our oceans. We can all can take steps that make a difference right now. A few small changes made by a whole bunch of people can make a huge impact. Shopping at Awesome.wales will help you to make these small changes.”
The shop will be opening at the end of June, and is hotly anticipated by local residents. Over 700 people have completed a survey with an overwhelming 93% stating that they would like to see a zero waste shop open in Barry.