Diane Rudge refills a hand soap container at The Den quality goods and refillery in Ucluelet. The store stocks products that are ocean-friendly, biodegradable and local. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Diane Rudge refills a hand soap container at The Den quality goods and refillery in Ucluelet. The store stocks products that are ocean-friendly, biodegradable and local. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Tofino and Ucluelet open zero-waste refill stations

“We wanted to have a thoughtful impact on the community.”

When it comes to embracing a waste-free lifestyle, West Coasters now have the upper hand with new refill shops (or refilleries) opening up in Tofino and Ucluelet.

The Den Ucluelet, located across from the aquarium, recently re-opened their shop as a zero waste refill station, carrying about 30 products ranging from house cleaning to hair, body and beauty.

Frankly Tofino, located on Campbell Street near Wolf in the Fog, is aiming to open as soon as possible pending permits from Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Owner Madison Greyson, 23, said Frankly is poised become the first food refillery in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. In addition to supplying household cleaning and beauty products, Frankly will also carry kitchen staples like: flour, seeds, spices, and quinoa.


Young entrepreneur Madison Greyson said it made nothing but perfect sense to open Frankly Tofino, a shop that promotes simple and waste free living.

In the broadest sense, a refillery is a place where you bring a container from home and fill it up.

“For me, a refillery means a lot more than that. It’s the ability to look at shopping and consuming differently. It’s the ability of course to eliminate single-use plastics and it’s the ability to live life with less,” said Greyson, who sits on the board of directors for Clayoquot Clean Up.

“I want Frankly to be a platform for people learning a new way of shopping,” she said. “It’s the idea of breaking away from the consumption side of it and just shopping for what you need. To me, that’s what a refillery is. It’s a resource for being able to buy what you need and not what you don’t.”

The Den co-owners Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge said they have had an abundance of support since rebranding their artisan shop as a refillery.

“We wanted to have a thoughtful impact on the community. We didn’t want to bring in stuff that would sell just to sell,” said Rudge adding they are now in a great position to educate visitors.

O’Keefe reiterates.

“We are all in this zero waste journey together and we want The Den to be a space to discuss alternatives, learn together how we can lower our impact and grow as a community in sustainability. We are hoping that we do not only have an impact on our local environment, but inspire all the tourists that visit our beautiful region to go home and make a small or big change in their day to day life as well,” said O’Keefe.

“The first step to start living a zero waste life is to do just that, take one step,” she went on to say. “If you don’t know where to start, come say ‘Hi’ and we would be thrilled to help incorporate little by little some zero-waste habits into your day to day.”

This June, Tofino and Ucluelet officially adopted unified bylaws that prohibit businesses in either town from providing plastic bags or straws to customers. According to Surfrider Pacific Rim, the Co-ops were distributing 76,000 plastic bags each year in both towns. The non-profit is looking forward to creating fruitful partnerships with Frankly and The Den.

“Working towards a circular economy means designing as much plastic packaging out of our systems as possible, and a major part of this is the refill revolution where individuals bring their own reusable containers for foods, beverages, and other necessities like household goods,” wrote Surfrider Pacific Rim chapter manager Lilly Woodbury in an email.

“Additionally, the zero-waste movement is picking up momentum, but we need to ensure that all people can participate in this movement, which means lowering the barriers to participation like lack of access. So, with this, people on the coast are going to have way greater ease in eradicating waste from their lives now that we have local options for refill and zero waste products,” said Woodbury.

Most recently on Nov. 1, Return-It bumped bottle deposit rates for non-alcohol beverage containers from five cents to 10 cents to encourage British Columbians to recycle more containers, with the goal of keeping them out of landfills and oceans.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RELATED: B.C. Return-It to double recycling deposits for pop cans, juice boxes next month

RELATED: Tofino opens first-ever Express & GO recycling station

READ MORE: Tofino health food store Green Soul Organics shuts down

EnvironmentSurfriderTofino,ucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March. 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino councillor candidates identify differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new municipal councillors on March 6.

Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen has resigned his position and is heading south-Island. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen resigns

Mayor Mayco Noel says he and his council “completely caught off guard”

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read