White City pupils open H&F's first eco-refill shop

White City pupils have opened a new zero waste shop.

H&F Mayor Cllr Patricia Quigley (centre) joined students at the Refill Stop unveiling at St John XXIII Catholic Primary School

Year 5 pupils from St John XXIII Catholic primary school opened the refill station on Thursday 18 April. Called the 'Refill Stop' it runs from their school playground in India Way.

The shop is open to parents and offers the school community a chance to stock up household essentials such as laundry detergent, washing up liquid and handwash – without creating plastic waste.

All the products are UK-made, ethically sourced, cruelty-free, vegan and affordable.

H&F Mayor, Cllr Patricia Quigley, applauded the students' efforts on the day. She said:

Your dedication to climate education and action is a shining example for how H&F is taking climate action together. Not only are you helping make this borough a better place, but your dedication is also an inspiration to me, your parents, and so many others to do the same."

St John XXIII Catholic Primary School pupil at the school's new Refill Stop shop

Mayor visits

On opening day, parents queued to refill their containers with grapefruit and aloe vera shampoo, sweet clementine handwash and rhubarb and lemon washing up liquid.

Pupils run the playground shop, from sales and budgeting to marketing and inventory management, developing valuable enterprise skills along the way.

"It was really exciting to see our project go from an idea to a real shop with paying customers,” said student store manager, Santiago. “It was a lot of hard work but well worth it."

Student store manager Santiago (right)

The group raised more than £150 on launch day, which they will reinvest into more eco-friendly stock while returning empty bulk containers to the manufacturers for reuse.

"The project allowed children to develop not only core curriculum skills but also entrepreneurial skills which will hold them in good stead as they progress to secondary school," added Karen Cunningham, headteacher at St John XXIII Catholic Primary School.

The Refill Stop is open to parents at selected times each month, with ambitions to branch out to the wider public in the future.

The new refill shop offers grapefruit and aloe vera shampoo
The schoolyard shop also has washing-up liquid on tap

A second refill station is planned to open at Larmenier and Sacred Heart Primary School in Hammersmith later this term, with four more to follow next year.

The initiative arrives at a critical time as plastic pollution overwhelms local rivers. Thames21 reports that at least 200 tonnes of waste, much of it plastic, is removed from the river each year, with the charity’s annual Big Wet Wipe Count soon to return to the Hammersmith riverside (10 May).

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