According to a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation report launched at the World Economic Forum, new plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today. Plastics production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311 million tonnes in 2014, the report says. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050!

Owners of Ingrid’s Zero Waste shop, Brian & Linda Merritt, have devoted their lives to fight against this shocking statistic by opening an eco-friendly, zero waste shop in the heart of Llandudno. The shop not only reduces the use of single plastic, it also considers the environmental costs of all products and encourages guests to bring their own containers when purchasing products. When possible, products are also sourced locally here in North Wales. We sent our writer, Carly to have a chat with Brian…

What inspired you to open Ingrid’s Zero Waste?

The inspiration for this eco-friendly shop came from working for companies who did not care much for the environment. We both felt like we were part of the problem so when the opportunity came up to open an environmentally conscious shop, we jumped at the chance!

What is the story behind the name Ingrid?

The shop is named after Linda’s mum who, when she found out what we wanted to do loved the idea so much she offered funds and advice. She didn’t know we named the shop after her until a Skype call after we had sorted all the branding. She has been blushing ever since.

Tell us a little more about the shop…

We have attempted to create a shop that considers every aspect of the environment and not just single use plastics. We buy local where possible and 90% of our stock is from the UK to avoid excess carbon in its delivery. The only power we use in the shop is lights and a charger for the card reader and my phone which acts as a till.  All our shop fittings and furniture are reclaimed, and our liquid refill station is a custom-built table made from old pallets. We sell plastic replacement bamboo products like toothbrushes and cotton buds as well as plastic-free cleaning products like scourers and cloths. We sell stainless steel straws of various colours and sizes. Our tea is plastic free from the West Country tea company. We have a liquid refill station that consists of shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, washing up liquid, laundry liquid, fabric softener, and toilet cleaner. You can bring your own empty bottle or buy a glass bottle from us to fill. We also stock divine soaps and shampoo bars from You’re Gorgeous handmade soap of Glan Conwy.

What feedback have you received from customers?

We have had some wonderful feedback from customers on our Facebook page (@ingridszerowaste). Two of my favourite quotes were:

“Lovely little shop promoting an important message – let’s all try to produce less waste! 🙂   

Bought a gorgeously scented shampoo bar which is half the price of solid shampoos in other shops! I will definitely be visiting here again.”

“A fantastic initiative offering a variety of truly environmentally-friendly products. Great prices and the option of bringing your own containers to fill with eco-friendly household cleaners and detergents. Love that Ingrid’s really takes into consideration all aspects of zero waste, including not having unnecessary lighting and electronics! Definitely worth a visit!” n

Ingrid’s Zero Waste Shop is located at 3A Vaughan

Street, Llandudno, LL30 1AB. Opening hours are daily

from 10am-5:30pm

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