It all began when Hayley Lambert decided to go ‘plastic-free’. She found this an extremely difficult thing to do and was sure that it could be made easier for people like herself, wanting to do their bit for the environment.

Hayley is now doing her bit and then some! She decided to take a break from her saxophone teaching to open a shop in Marlborough whose aim is to use as close to zero plastic packaging as possible. This responsibility starts with her suppliers who use as little and as environmentally friendly packaging as is feasible. Some even bring foods in re-useable containers to Hayley and she, in turn, encourages her customers to bring their re-useable containers with them when they visit. Or alternatively, shoppers can carry their purchases home in a paper bag.

Hayley’s shop is all about stripping back to simple living; write a shopping list and then go and buy just enough of what you need. Feel good about the fact that you have not contributed to harming the environment and also feel healthier knowing that everything you buy there is organic.

It is not just for people looking to be environmentally friendly but also for those wanting to reduce their shopping costs or waste. If you buy just the right amount, then you will use just the right amount. This makes so much sense when it comes to items such as spices, especially when trialling a new recipe. Need a pinch of that? A spoonful of this? Then go and buy a pinch and a spoonful from Hayley. She doesn’t mind. Need gluten-free foods for nutritionally challenging visits from family members once in a blue moon, knowing you’ll never use it again? Go and buy a cup of flour from Hayley. She really doesn’t mind!

Hayley came to spread the word about the ethos behind her shop with our residents at Coombe End Court; it really resonated with many of them who weren’t subjected to over-packaging in their early lives. Hayley talked about the problems it is causing to the environment now and discussed the benefits of zero waste shopping. She talked about opening the business and how the shop is doing now. And then a resident volunteered to use one of the dispensers Hayley had brought in to show us.

It was a fabulous interactive talk, which created a lot of discussion and we now have some very interested residents who would like to go and visit ‘Packaging Not Included’ and perhaps make some changes to return to a simpler way of life.