South West businesses lead drive to reduce plastic waste

Seven South West businesses are leading the way in devising solutions to help millions of people reduce their plastic consumption.

Their shift to reusable packaging offers consumers a way to do their bit in the most effective, easy and affordable way.

Trewithen Dairy

Family run dairy Trewithen Dairy has 150+ refillable milk stations across the South West and beyond in a bid to encourage less single-use plastic. The self-serve scheme offers customers the chance to pour semi-skimmed milk into glass bottles and enjoy the taste of fresh milk produced from Cornish farms.
Trewithen Dairy invested in the technology as a way to offer people quality, affordable, high-welfare produce while reducing the amount of single-use plastic being created.
Customers are able to use one of their own suitable containers, or buy a Trewithen Dairy reusable one-litre glass bottle at each station, which should be washed in soapy water at home between each refill.


Neil Graham, owner of Devonia, has been motivated by tackling single-use plastic solutions since he bought the business back in 2014. Devonia is the only spring water company in the south of England with a business model centred around continuously reusing glass bottles. Over the 20 years the company has been up and running, it has saved a staggering 163 tonnes of glass from going to landfill, by collecting and reusing its water bottles from hotels, pubs, cafes, restaurants, special events and private customers across Devon.
Since the start of 2022, Devonia has sold 336,000 bottles of water and reused 285,000, with a reuse rate of 90%. Washing and refilling the bottles uses just 6% of the energy required to recycle glass, reducing CO2 by 94%. And of course, it doesn’t generate any plastic pollution that would ultimately go into the world’s oceans.
Devonia’s water is bottled at source from a spring that bubbles up on the edge of a meadow near the villages of Beeson and Beesands, less than a mile from the sea.

Salcombe Gin

Ocean-inspired distillery Salcombe Distilling Co. gives customers a chance to refill their empty Salcombe Gin bottles with Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ or Salcombe Gin ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ and receive a 20% discount.
The refill scheme is available at Exeter-based Darts Farm, their own Dartmouth and Salcombe stores and also Barrel & Still in Kingsbridge.

Salcombe Brewery

Salcombe Brewery Co is committed to reducing their impact on the environment and, in an effort to encourage waste minimisation, they have introduced a scheme where visitors to their brewery can fill up a container of their choice with their beers. From milk bottles to growlers, they have had many weird and wonderful vessels used! This packaging-free option is available Monday to Saturday, during shop opening hours and is limited to one fill up per person per day.


Hattiers were early adopters of innovative packaging solutions from fellow B Corp Flexi-Hex, which is made from 100% recycled material and is 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. Their customers are happy in the knowledge that their rum will arrive safely and in beautiful packaging that doesn’t cost the earth.
Blackpool SandsFollowing in the footsteps of its predecessor, Blackpool Sands’ new takeaway is an example of a hospitality business paving the way sustainably. The revamped takeaway is set to open in April 2023, which will be wholly plastic and glass free, and stocked with only independent brands. After the summer season, the restaurant renovation will begin, transforming the takeaway’s indoor seating area into a fantastic dining destination in time for opening in spring 2024.


Flapjackery’s handmade flapjacks are packed into recyclable boxes, and if the purchaser chooses not to take a box, 50p is donated to that shop’s nominated charity. The charities for its shops are: Wells (Wells Cathedral); Plymouth (RNLI); St Ives (RNLI); Minehead (RNLI); Tavistock (Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust).

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