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  • Hi, I'm Leslie, the founder and CEO of Sustain LA.

  • We offer a place for people to come and refill household cleaners and body care products, and find plastic-free alternatives to things they might use everyday.

  • We also offer reusable rentals to make your parties and events sustainable, and zero waste consulting.

  • We've been told for a long time that recycling plastics are the solution.

  • But unfortunately less than 9 percent of plastic containers are recycled.

  • The Sustain LA refill station allows customers to bring in their own container, any container works.

  • We have a weigh station where you weigh your empty container first, record that weight.

  • And you fill up with laundry liquid, shampoos, conditioners, hand soaps, all purpose cleaner.

  • We reweigh the container and deduct that original weight, so you're paying only for what you fill up.

  • And this helps eliminate the plastic bottles that you purchase in the store every time.

  • In addition to our store in Highland Park we also still do popups at farmers markets.

  • We're at the Hollywood farmers market and the Atwater Village farmers market.

  • I grew up in central Illinois and had access to undeveloped forest behind my parent's house.

  • I spent a lot of time there.

  • And I think that instilled a natural desire to protect the environment.

  • I had been working in restaurants for 10 years and saw first hand the amount of waste and plastic pollution that restaurants caused.

  • I was managing a restaurant that used styrofoam for to-go orders, and I realized that was part of the problem, and I wanted to be part of the solution.

  • At the same time Captain Charles Moore had found these giant gyres full of plastic soup in the ocean, and the plastic pollution problem was becoming more evident.

  • From there I decided that I wanted to help restaurants operate more sustainably, help events reach zero waste.

  • And eventually that led me to opening the refill station here in Highland Park.

  • The community of Highland Park is largely a Latino community.

  • And we wanted to make sure that we were inclusive of our neighbors.

  • All of our products are labeled in both English and Spanish.

  • We also have a large infographic on the wall to help new customers understand the flow and routine of our store.

  • And that is also in English and Spanish.

  • The zero waste movement has many components.

  • The main consideration is what we're throwing away, how to conserve resources, and how to restore the natural systems of the planet.

  • Our customers include varying degrees of the zero waste journey.

  • We have many customers who are coming to us for the first time, asking (what) the best products to start with to change to a zero waste lifestyle.

  • And we have seasoned zero waste veterans that know the routine, and are excited to have a place to refill.

  • We offer a variety of products in our refill stations, some of which are really hard to find package free.

  • Household cleaners include laundry detergent, dish soap, castile soaps.

  • And some of our body care products include deodorant, facial cleanser and moisturizer.

  • And we're constantly adding on new products based on our customer's recommendations.

  • We source from many small businesses.

  • We try to stay as close to home, close to Los Angeles, as possible.

  • And we try to either return the container back to the vendor for refilling, or find a second life for that container before recycling.

  • Products like our laundry liquid and dish liquid come in 55 gallon drums.

  • And this reduces the amount of single use plastic as people are refilling their containers from our large drums.

  • At the end of life we donate those drums to an animal rescue.

  • We also have a bunch of products that help you achieve a zero waste lifestyle including plastic-free toothbrushes, reusable containers, reusable sponges without plastic, and plastic-free razors.

  • I have a six year old, and as a mom I feel that it's super important for us to leave the Earth inhabitable for future generations.

  • This is one way that I'm helping make a difference.

Hi, I'm Leslie, the founder and CEO of Sustain LA.

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B1 US refill waste container highland reusable laundry

This Zero-Waste Refill Store Should Be Everywhere

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    Minjane posted on 2020/08/16
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