A local farm shop is trialing its latest initiative to reduce plastic waste in the local area.
Chris and Claire Martin, who run Railway Cottage Farm Shop, are currently experimenting with zero waste stations, which allows eco-friendly shoppers to bring their own containers for dry foods such pasta, rice, flour, hazelnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds.
It is hoped the initiative will help reduce plastic waste in the local area. The shop, which is situated on the Edenderry Road, strives to support local and reduce waste with mindful shopping, and already stocks a range of locally sources foods and ingredients.
The initiative comes at a time when land filling in the council area is worryingly high. While Northern Ireland’s household waste recycling rate has increased to 50 per cent, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council falls below the Northern Ireland average – over 40 percent of waste is land filled, making it the second highest landfill rate out of all councils in Northern Ireland, according to DEARA statistics.
However, Claire hopes experiments such as zero waste stations will help inspire people to ‘ditch plastic’ in their everyday lives and reduce plastic waste locally.
“We have been seeing an increase in zero waste shops in Northern Ireland recently, with shops in Belfast and Ballymena offering package free food,” she said. “It's really just a trial at the moment to see how local people react. We already offer plastic free soaps and conditioners. We set up railway cottage as we wanted to promote environmentally friendly living, so this is the next step for us.
“It’s annoying when we see how much packaging is being wasted, and how much plastic we bring home from a shop - especially when we often put things like pasta into a jar anyway! It’s a new venture and a bit of an experiment, but I am hoping it will inspire people to all do our bit.
“We are firm believers that we won’t make a difference with a few people doing zero waste perfectly, but rather, millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Railway Cottage Farm Shop is situated on 55 Edenderry Road, Omagh.