Student plans zero waste shop at USW Treforest

Picture by Arhantika Rebello

A student at the University of South Wales has set up a zero-waste shop in Treforest to help students live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Lauren Valentine studies International Wildlife Biology at university and is the chair of the Earth Society at the Treforest campus in the students’ union.

Although it is not open to the public yet, the shop plans to sell sustainable products such as bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual hygiene products, refillable shampoo and dried food so people can bring their own containers to prevent the use of plastic packaging.

Lauren said: “The main goal is to get everybody as much as possible to be making sustainable changes, to make life choices that will be better for the planet. Hopefully with the shop being there, people will just pop in educate themselves and hopefully use it to make changes at home.”

The Earth Society hopes to change the stigma that is often associated with sustainable products as she said people often ignore sustainable products due to the upfront costs, but in the long term she believes that the difference in cost is not noticeable.

She said: “Convenience is the biggest obstacle for students when trying to live a sustainable lifestyle.  Studying, working and enjoying the university experience makes students just want to get your shopping really fast from one place.”

Some of the things that the shop wants to achieve is being plastic-free and promote being vegan by sustainable shopping.

As one of the only sustainable shops in Treforest, the shop hopes to mimic the success of Ripple, Cardiff’s first zero waste shop based in Albany Road in Roath.

They hope the shop will be open by the end of the Easter term.

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