Ralph the Refill Van: The Mobile Shop Bringing Zero Waste Right to Your Front Door

A couple of years ago Tarnya Bayes experienced a few big life changes, making her seriously rethink how sustainable her lifestyle was. She had always been passionate about ethical shopping, but it wasn’t always possible or easy to get exactly what she required without travelling. This inspired her to solve this problem for herself and other people by setting up the Refi ll Van.

Refi ll Van, based in Rushden and Kettering, but serving a large portion of Northamptonshire, is a weigh-and-pay style household goods ‘refill store’ - with plastic and packaging free products. Along with team members Emma and Adam Mattacola, Refi ll Van began trading in May last year and has quickly grown in momentum and popularity amongst local communities. The eco-friendly company have put down firm roots in Kettering, now also trading out of The Yards in the town centre.

Designed to support sustainability and reduce waste, the mobile shop is stocked with a variety of dried goods including pasta, pulses, beans, cereals, nuts, loose teas and coffee beans. Customers can also replenish things like shampoo and conditioner, washing up liquid, household cleaners and hand soap, while items for sale include a range of bamboo toothbrushes, deodorants, reusable sandwich bags, plus much more.

In order to reduce packaging, many products are sold by weight which allows you to refill your own containers. The containers are weighed before filling, then again afterwards so you only pay for the amount that you need. You can use any container: old Tupperware, jars, bottles, bags… as long as it is clean and empty. There are also ‘Forever’ 500ml glass bottles for liquids available to buy that you can refill again and again. A Refill Van Community Stop is a specific stop where the van visits regularly; weekly, fortnightly, monthly. If you know anywhere great for a stop, do get in touch and it can be added as a regular community stop near you. This is a wonderful way to bring back some of that good, old-fashioned community spirit!

Tarn, Emma and Adam are great believers in supporting the local community and ensuring safe access to shopping for customers who may struggle to travel, particularly in these uncertain times.

Ralph the Refill Van currently delivers to: Achurch, Aldwincle, Brigstock, Broughton, Cranford St Andrew, Cranford St John, Denford, Geddington, Grafton Underwood, Great Addington, Great Cransley, Great Harrowden, Great Oakley, Hannington, Harrington, Isham, Islip, Kelmarsh, Lamport, Lilford, Little Addington, Little Cransley, Little Harrowden, Little Oakley, Little Stanion, Loddington, Lowick, Mawsley, Newton, Old, Orlingbury, Orton, Pilton, Pipewell, Pytchley, Ringstead, Rushton, Slipton, Stanion, Stanwick, Stoke Doyle, Sudborough, Thorpe Malsor, Thorpe Underwood, Thorpe Waterville, Thrapston, Titchmarsh, Twywell, Wadenhoe, Walgrave, Warkton, Weekley, & Woodford. www.refi llvan.co.u 

Ralph the Refill Van