Plastic free shopping to ‘evolve’ in Darwen

Like many of us, Kate Coop has been shocked by the high profile campaigns highlighting the huge effect single-use plastic is having on our environment.

Not long after watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, she glanced in her own supermarket trolley and reality hit at just how much plastic she was buying as part of her weekly shop.

She decided to start making small changes and was fascinated at just how quickly her household waste started to reduce.

Now, she’s turning her passion for zero waste into a business, launching her new shop ‘Earth Evolution’ in Darwen.

The 27-year-old said:

“I’d seen on TV, in the news and across social media about the serious impact plastic was having on our oceans and sea life. I started by swapping my plastic straws to metal ones, but when I realised just how much plastic I was buying, I decided to look at how I could make other changes. I started travelling to a plastic-free shop where I could fill up my jars with pasta and rice and started trying re-usable vegetable bags and food wraps and composting our food waste. At first it was a little daunting, but I soon found it to be really easy and it was incredible to see how much we reduced our waste by.”

Kate works at the ever-popular Freedom Organics in Duckworth Street, Darwen, and when the owner of the vegan speciality café and shop decided to expand and move next door, she took the chance to launch her own business at the existing premises.

“We’ve always been passionate about reducing waste at Freedom Organics and we sell fresh fruit and veg loose – without the plastic packaging,” Kate added.

“It will be great to have the two businesses next to each other and we’re hoping to attract visitors to help support the whole town. Earth Evolution is something completely new and unique for the borough. I’ve been doing lots of research and planning and we’ll have an area where you can fill jars and containers with staple foods like pasta and rice and a snack station. It’s fantastic as customers only have to buy the quantity they need rather than set weighted packets. The method of refilling not only helps reduce plastic waste but also reduces food waste and they only pay for what they need. That’s a big thing as many people think that it will be expensive to try and make the change, but in actual fact, I haven’t found that at all.”

One of the items that Kate’s new shop will stock is refillable toilet cleaner.

“People always laugh at that!” she says “they don’t even realise it’s something you can get!

“It’ll be part of a full range of refillable cleaning products, refillable beauty products and a home section plus everything we stock will be cruelty free. We’re trying to source as much as we can locally and our big aim is to create as little waste as possible and when waste is created try and reuse it.”

For the latest updates and official opening date, search ‘Earth Evolution’ on Facebook.