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How Amanda and Jeannie set up shop at Wasteless Pantry, Mundaring

The challenge of living sustainably outside city centres

Inspired by Bea Johnson’s book “Zero Waste Home” and participating in the Plastic Free July challenge, Perth Hills residents, Amanda Welschbillig and Jeannie Richardson, embarked on their journey to be plastic free and zero-waste. They soon realised, though, that driving up to 45 minutes to do the weekly shop wasn’t a sustainable option.

“Some places had a few items but nowhere had everything [we needed], so we ended up having to go to a number of stores” said Amanda.

Taking matters into their own hands

Seeing a major gap in the area for sustainable alternatives, Amanda and Jeannie decided to make a change themselves, by opening Wasteless Pantry.

Despite neither of them having a retail background, they learnt fast and opened the store in June 2015, just 11 months after they first dreamed it up. “The store has been setup to provide an extensive range and is intentionally family-friendly. This means no lollies at the counter and a well-used children’s corner. Their motto, “Just what you need”, says it all about the philosophy of the store. They’re passionate about using local produce to reduce transportation pollution, and stocking products that use minimal packaging.

“Our society and media encourage us to buy more, spend more, consume more and pay more for the “packet” or advertised “brand”,” mused Amanda. “Going plastic free goes against that and puts a brake on modern consumer lifestyles.”

The Wasteless Pantry still going strong

With an average of 400 customers per week the popularity of the Wasteless Pantry is growing, reflecting a growing demand for zero-waste products. The store produces just 2.72kg of waste per month, which is one tenth of the waste of a household – and that’s while serving 400 customers!

What did you do for Plastic Free July?

 Please share your story – what you did, the challenges and barriers and your successes. Where possible we will then share this to inspire others in their efforts to reduce plastic waste, grow the movement and amplify the impact.

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

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