At this stage, it is well documented the role that single use plastics are playing in the rapid degeneration of our planet and the global ecological emergency we find ourselves in.
A Wexford town store has been leading the charge in attempting to change our shopping habits and curb some of the environmental damage caused by unnecessary plastic packaging.
Located on Church Lane in Wexford town, the first thing you'll notice as you enter Only Natural is a series of large dispensers towards the rear of the store. Containing a range of foodstuffs, from rice and pasta to treats like peanuts and chocolate raisins, people are encouraged to either bring in their own containers or use the store's compostable bags to take as much as they need. Owner Ger Colfer points out that there are also savings to be made as customers pay only for the food and not the packaging.
'There's nothing new to this really,' said owner Ger Colfer. 'We've been doing it for a couple of years, but we've really ramped things up this year. It's our aim to help people shop in an environmentally conscious way. Living life without generating unnecessary plastic waste isn't easy, it takes planning and effort but please don't be put off by that. If you start by doing a little more and by being a little more conscious today then you can do more again tomorrow. Change has to start sometime! We hope what we're doing here will eventually become the norm.'
The store's zero waste philosophy doesn't just extend to foodstuffs either. In the bathroom, you can bring your own bottle to the store and take a fill of shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and body wash. The store also has bamboo toothbrushes and for those willing to go a step further, you can even pick up sustainably produced bamboo underwear.
Customers can also bring along their own container to purchase a whole range of cleaning products in store. A little change in attitude can go a long way and Only Natural are hoping to lead the charge.