In 1950 the world’s population produced 1.5 million tons of plastic. By 2016 it rose to 320 million tons. By 2034 the world is forecast to produce 640 million tons of plastic.
Plastic waste finds its way from the far-reaching depths of the ocean to the microplastics that are consumed by us. Plastic does not disappear but our reliance on it can. Statistics about plastic can often be overwhelming but it is thanks to people like Karla Reynolds that we can start making positive changes. Twin Larder is among the growing community of zero waste shops being introduced to Surrey residents.
I spent a fun and informative morning with Karla at her new shop in Ash on the Surrey-Hampshire border. Twin Larder takes its name from the owner’s twin girls. Karla and her husband realised that their own reliance on convenience shopping produced an enormous amount of waste. They decided this wasn’t the future they wanted for their children. And so began their own journey towards zero waste living; this shop invites us all to make small yet positive changes.
Attitudes across the country, including Surrey, are beginning to change. When the shop opened it was filled with all age groups; the older generation were reminded of the way they used to shop by refilling containers, whilst families and young people were consciously making the decision to shop in a more thoughtful way that will have far reaching effects.
The shop is a wonderful mixture of gifted vintage furniture and wooden display cabinets, with colourful, natural products adorning the shelves. Everywhere you look your gaze is captured by the locally made products on offer. Twin Larder has a chic, artistic and inviting look that will make customers linger over every item.
At the back of the shop are large containers filled with everyday household products. You simply come into the shop with your bottle, weigh it, fill it up with your chosen liquid then weigh it once more and pay. It is as simple as that. There are even beautiful glass bottles that you can purchase and fill to be reused again and again.
On offer are sustainable, eco-friendly and ethical products and many are sourced locally. Karla is knowledgeable about every item she sells and can confidently inform her customers about the ingredients that go into the soaps or who she buys the artistically wrapped and comedically named “Who gives a crap?” toilet paper from. (Note: This shop definitely does.)
The emphasis on community is something that drives Twin Larder. Local suppliers are embedded in this shop and happily come in to speak to customers. These are not faceless brands. They are real people who create zero waste, natural products, locally. Karla is a firm believer in paying it forward and supporting local entrepreneurs; even the art on display in the shop has been painted locally.
From hosting the local Rainbows group to eventually running Workshops, Karla is always looking out for ways to include her community in the shared goal of reducing our waste and carbon footprint. The shop will eventually start stocking pantry supplies such as pasta, rice, spices and cereals. This is a shop that is looking forward to the future positively rather than hiding from the alarming statistics that concern us all.
Just as this shop thrives on community support, we should all keep working as a collective towards a positive future and opening up our minds to zero waste living. As Karla said: “We can’t do everything, but we can each do something.” Make that one change that will spiral into another. Just like the ethos of the shop, we can do this together.
57 Guildford Road, Ash, Surrey, GU12 6BQ
Tuesday: 9:30am to 2:30pm
Wednesday: 9:30am to 2:30pm
Thursday: 9:30am to 2:30pm, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Friday: 9:30am to 2:30pm
Saturday: 9:30am to 2:30pm