Bright Spot: Zero-waste grocery store

Zero waste grocery store
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAN MATEO, California. (WFSB) - There’s a special kind of store opening Friday in California which many environmentalists hope will set a trend across the country.

It’s exactly like a grocery store, except you won’t find any single-use plastics.

Laura Porter owns ‘Byrd’s Filling Station,’ a zero-waste grocery store located in downtown San Mateo.

“You can bring in your own containers and refill anything from dry goods to organic produce, to cleaning products and personal care items.”

While places like Byrd’s Filling Station do exist, they are few and far between.

Porter had the vision for the zero-waste store a few years ago. “I realized I wasn’t doing everything that I could to leave a sustainable planet for my children.”

Experts like Bruce Olszewski from San Jose State’s Environmental Studies Department say our planet is riddled with plastic. “Plastic waste is a massive problem [globally]. Plastic use has been increasing over time. It’s about 20% of everything that goes into the landfill, so it’s a very serious problem.”

Though this just one shop, many believe could help make a difference. “They absolutely make a difference because they provide an option for people to make a choice to create less plastic waste,” said Olszewski.

Alfred Twu is with the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter. “If one shop can show that refillable products, which means you have repeat customers going in, can be a better business model than single use products, then we could really see this take off.”

Laura Porter hopes her spot will serve a need for those who already are sustainability focused and will be a place where people can learn.

“This is really about cleaning up our habits, teaching others to clean up habits, and getting into a better rhythm that will leave a cleaner world for the next generation.”

Byrd’s Filling Station celebrates its grand opening on Friday, June 3rd.