Exmouth bulk food stores to help fight war on waste

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Ningaloo IGA in the Exmouth town centre.
Camera IconNingaloo IGA in the Exmouth town centre. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr

Exmouth may be a small community, but it is mighty when it comes to the war on waste and reducing the use of plastic that ends up in the Ningaloo Reef.

Two local businesses are helping to fight the good fight by establishing bulk-food purchasing, which allows people to fill up reusable containers or compostable bags with various foods and goods.

Ningaloo IGA will be shutting down early next year to complete renovations for a bulk-food section, while new store Ningaloo Bulk Foods is scheduled to open in late February and will be solely dedicated to sustainable purchases.

Ningaloo IGA director Jocelyn Lee said it was all about reducing waste while offering organic and local produce to the community.

“This is something we’ve been passionate about for a long time,” she said. “We haven’t had plastic bags in our store for 11 years and our deli already serves all our salads in compostable containers.”

Ningaloo Bulk Foods founder Jess Smith said her plan was to reduce the amount of plastic that ended up in landfill or the ocean and to give people the option to live a zero-waste lifestyle.

“The store will comprise a range of products, like dried foods, you would normally get in plastic at the shops, along with personal hygiene and cleaning products,” she said.

“As an example, we will have a large amount of shampoo that people can use to fill up their own containers, go home and use that, then come back in and refill that same bottle.”

As a marine biologist, Jess has witnessed firsthand the impact of plastic and rubbish on animals and the oceans, and felt it was something for which she needed to take a personal responsibility.

“Every person can make a difference, big or small, through simple choices like saying no to takeaway plastic cutlery, buying a keep cup or using a stainless steel water bottle,” she said.

Jocelyn said over the past few years, people had become more conscious of their environmental footprint and IGA was doing its part.

“This is an opportunity for us to offer people a way to get rid of plastic waste but also reduce the build-up of pantry items that are rarely used.”

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