Crowdfunding campaign launched for Derry’s first Zero Waste Shop

Ruth O'Callaghan, (front row, fourth from right) pictured with members of Zero Waste NW at the recent Stendhal Festival
Ruth O'Callaghan, (front row, fourth from right) pictured with members of Zero Waste NW at the recent Stendhal Festival

Members of the group Zero Waste North West are planning to open the city’s first ‘zero waste shop.’

They have launched an online crowdfunding campaign to help purchase supplies for ‘The UseLess Shop’ and are on the hunt for suitable premises.

Ruth O’Callaghan, one of those behind the plans, said that the Zero Waste movement has ‘exploded’ thanks to TV shows like Blue Planet.

“We are trying to show people they don’t need as many single use plastics. We want to be able to offer alternatives to items which are full of plastic like bamboo toothbrushes, paper straws, stainless steel razors, menstrual cups and reusable nappies.

“We also hope to sell refillable shampoo and conditioner and other refillable products in ‘The UseLess Shop.’ We are constantly on the lookout for different things we can get, even toilet paper which isn’t wrapped in plastic.”

The group hope to set up pop-up shops, including one at the Zero Waste North West festival which will take place next month in the Playtrail.

Ruth said the aim is for the shop to become a centre for the community.

“We would like it to be a place for people to come and learn about the ways they can help the environment or the changes they can make in their own habits should they choose to. A place for workshops, breastfeeding support, reusable nappy libraries and much more. We want a place for people to have easy access to solutions, so they dont feel overwhelmed by the thought of reducing their waste.”

Ruth tries to live as plastic free life as much as possible.

“I can be quite extreme. I use a bamboo toothbrush and I don’t buy food in plastic containers. If I’m going to the butchers I will take a glass jar with me for them to put the produce in. I always have reusable bags and I would never get a take out coffee. I always sit in and get a proper cup.”

Ruth said Derry is embracing the concept of a zero waste lifestyle and the council is in the process implementing a zero waste strategy.

“The Zero Waste, Circular Economy Strategy was adapted with cross-party support in December and includes lots of exciting policies for the region to lead the way towards a sustainable economy.”

Ruth explained that the crowdfunding page was launched to help buy supplies.

“The target is £5,000 and to be able to raise that would be fantastic, but anything will help. The response so far has been amazing and so many people think it is a great idea.”

To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/the-useless-shop