Glass Jar Refillery

the glass jar Hamilton logo

In one of Mohawk Sustainability’s recent webinars, we met Rosanna, the owner of The Glass Jar Refillery, who provided us with information about the benefits of shopping at and supporting refilleries and why they are so important to sustainable living and environmentalism.

Located in Hamilton, The Glass Jar Refillery is a low impact, zero waste, and sustainable shop where you can buy household items such as detergent, deodorant, household cleaner, and food products. Focusing on sustainability and being ecofriendly, refilleries contribute to the circular economy, with their goal being to eliminate waste and have a continuous use of resources.

While refilleries might seem new, they’ve actually been around for a while! Markets and dry good stores are the earliest examples, but more modern-day examples include Bulk Barn and Lush Cosmetics.

So, what exactly is a refillery and how does it work?

Refilleries work through a weigh and pay structure. Items are sold in bulk, and in some refilleries, items are sold in ingredients, meaning instead of buying bulk soap, you could buy the ingredients to make your own soap. Each refillery has their own products.

With “weigh & pay” you bring your own reusable container (or buy one) and you pay for the weight of the bulk item you’re purchasing. The idea is to reduce consumption of single use plastic and to reduce garbage output. For example, instead of always buying a new container of washing detergent and recycling the container after it runs out, you continue to use the same container and just purchase the detergent, reducing single use plastic.

At The Glass Jar Refillery, there are 18 different products, all of which are Canadian, with a specific focus on local brands from Ontario.

Why are refilleries so important?

As shared by Rosanna in the webinar, “if we replaced 20% of single use plastic with reusable plastic, we would be able to transfer 10 billion dollars from the single use plastic market to other industries, such as sustainability efforts. In Canada alone, we use 3 billion plastic bags every year and nearly 57 million plastic straws. 40% of our plastic is produced just for packaging and those single use plastics can live in landfills for up to 450 years.”

This is why refilleries and moving towards circular economy is so important. If we all reduced our single-use plastic consumption, we would see cleaner oceans and a healthier planet.

If you are interested in learning more about refilleries you can watch the entire video on our YouTube channel or check out our sustainability efforts on Instagram and Facebook @sustainablemoco