The zero-waste movement is on the march in Southeast Asia, thanks to these stores replacing harmful single-use plastics with reusable and refillable products.
1. Babel’s Eco-shop and Refill Station, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodia’s first zero-waste bulk shop is located in the lobby of the eco-conscious Babel Guesthouse. It features reusable and plastic-free items from local vendors. The bulk refill station uses a pay-by-weight system for groceries such as all-natural shampoo, conditioner, body soap, body lotion, laundry detergent, and more. If you don’t have a refillable glass container, you can easily pick one up in the shop.
The selection also includes intriguing options such as menstrual cups, reusable menstrual pads, natural deodorant, organic coconut oil, and charcoal powder. Take away your new eco-goodies in a custom tropical tote emblazoned with “there is no planet B” and designed by social enterprise Friends ‘n’ Stuff, which creates job opportunities for locals.
2. Unpackt, Singapore
Unpackt was the first zero-waste bulk store in Singapore when it opened in May 2018. You’ll find a carefully curated array of food products, from pasta and granola to loose leaf tea, spices and nuts, in self-service dispensers at the package-free store. Sustainable beauty and lifestyle goods, including reusable Q-Tips and sponges, as well as silk dental floss, and cloth facial pads can also be found here, too.
3. Refillables Hoi An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Refillables Hoi An is the first of its kind in central Vietnam. Located in a quiet neighbourhood surrounded by lush farmland, it is a one-stop shop for eco-friendly household and personal care products free of harmful chemicals.
It also believes in easing the overuse of single-use plastics. Bring your own container to stock up on activated charcoal, shampoo and hand soap or pick up reusable bags, bamboo toothbrushes and silicone straws. At the Soap Bar, some variants will clean just about anything.
4. The Hive Bulk Foods, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Hive Bulk Foods, which received the United Nations award for its dedication to advocating a zero-waste lifestyle in 2017, is Malaysia’s first and most extensive zero-waste brand, with several outlets throughout Kuala Lumpur.
The offerings are mind-boggling. Think over 300 bulk dry food products, including homemade granola, pasta and rice, refillable liquids – from shampoo to detergent – a beauty corner with face masks, natural deodorants, essential oil toners, travel size products, and more. Bonus: many are produced by organic farmers and female entrepreneurs.
You can also drop off your gently used goods here as the social enterprise collects preloved products to donate to local charities for recycling.
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