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This New Melbourne Eco Truck Will Refill Your Cleaning Products While Reducing Your Plastic Waste

The Roving Refills truck is stocked with bulk products — simply BYO containers and fill 'em up.
By Libby Curran
March 16, 2019
By Libby Curran
March 16, 2019

In an era when plastic waste is on all our minds and packing a serious threat, Melbourne's got a new eco hero. And this one happens to be of the four-wheeled variety. Introducing Roving Refills — a new local environmental initiative that's set out to put a big dent in our container habit.

The vehicle operates a bit like your favourite food truck, with locations posted to social media. But instead of takeaway fare, this one's loaded with bulk cleaning and laundry products. Think detergent, dishwashing liquid, disinfectant, shampoo and conditioner, plus ingredients for DIY products such vinegar, bicarb soda and coconut oil. Rather than racking up more plastic waste with each trip to the supermarket cleaning aisle, you can bring your own reusable containers to Roving Refills to fill up on the go.

It's the brainchild of Environmental Management and Sustainability Masters student Claudine Lagier, who runs the van as a part-time side project with her sister Raphaelle. Right now, they're operating using a borrowed ute and a mobile vendor permit for the City of Maribyrnong, but have plans to expand to more locations — and hopefully obtain a new solar-powered or hybrid vehicle to keep those carbon dioxide emissions to a minimum. You'll also spy them popping up at a handful of markets, in areas like Kensington and Altona.

The Roving Refills concept sets out to take a direct hit at plastic waste, inspire action and give consumer habits a big ol' shake-up. While most of us are becoming more mindful of the waste generated by our food products and things like straws and plastic bags, Lagier wants to extend the focus onto other plastic-filled aspects of daily life. And she's certainly leading by example — aside from the products themselves, which are bought wholesale from mindful operations like Williamstown's Back to Basics and Robyn's Soap House in Knox, Roving Refills uses almost only recycled items. We're talking ice cream containers upcycled into storage boxes and chipped cups used as scoops, sourced from places like Urban Upcycle in Geelong.

Keep track of the Roving Refills van — its movement are posted on its Facebook page

Updated: June 4, 2019.

Published on March 16, 2019 by Libby Curran
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