Tag Archives: waste

New zero-waste store aims to make ripples in Cardiff

You might have spotted the super exciting Kickstarter campaign for a new zero-waste store in Cardiff called rippleAs you know, we LOVE small actions that turn into big changes. So today, Sophie Rae – the kick-ass woman behind the idea – tells us all about her amazing concept…

Sophie Rae KickstarterRipple, Cardiff’s first not-for-profit zero-waste store, has launched a Kickstarter to bring the shop to the city in time for a new wave of conscious consumers.

Inspired by the independent community of Cardiff, ripple founder and Cardiff native, Sophie Rae, launched the crowd funding campaign on 16th July at fellow not-for-profit business Big Mooose Coffee.

Pledgers have shown their support in vast numbers, with the campaign reaching 25% of its target within 72 hours! Here’s why you should back the project too:

So, what’s ripple about?

It’s simple really. Ripple is all about conscious consuming; from food to fashion choices. We think everyone deserves the chance to shop more ethically. When one person makes a change, everyone else pays attention, because ripples create waves. That, and you know… plastic.

Ripple_KickstarterCampaign_09 (1)

What’s wrong with plastic?

Don’t misunderstand us, we’re not anti-plastic. It’s a material that’s saving lives and has a much-needed purpose worldwide.

But single-use plastics? Yeah, they suck. BIG TIME. Plastic bags, water bottles, coffee cups, straws, packaging, wet wipes, sanitary products… the list is endless and it’s getting longer.

The ugly truth

By 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic than fish, in our world ocean. Studies estimate that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean each year and by 2025, that’s set to double.

Worried yet? Us too. Plastic packaging accounts for an eye-watering fifth of the cost of your weekly shop. What if you could shop package free? Well, we’d all be saving a lot of money and precious resources.

refillable containers at ripple

So what is a zero-waste store?

To help the people of Cardiff pass on plastic, ripple will offer over 120 bulk wholefoods and encourage customers to bring their own containers, jars, tubs and bags to refill every time they shop. And because the team believe in treating every creature with kindness, they’ll be be stocking the best natural and cruelty-free home and beauty products too, from eco laundry detergent to shampoo, soap and washing-up liquid.

There’s even going to be some sustainable homeware and ethical fashion thrown in for good measure. Think bamboo socks and organic cotton underwear!

Sophie tell us:

I watched Blue Planet II in 2017 and was deeply shocked to see the devastating harm humans are having on our planet. Since then, I’ve felt pretty ethically queasy. My zero-waste journey started not long after, I’ve been making small changes to help lighten my personal plastic footprint.

The campaign is helping create sustainable foundations for ripple, so our impact can be bigger and bolder than we could have ever imagined on our own. It really is a  community project, led by the people of the city.

I hope ripple will change the way Cardiff consumes, so that we can turn Wales’ capital into a true green city. That’s what ripple is all about:making small, sustainable changes to help create a bigger impact.

Ripple_ToteBag-Kickstarter (1)

Ripple’s Kickstarter campaign will close at 11:59pm on Sunday 29th July, when the target of £30,000 must be reached or no funding will be released.

To help entice supporters to pledge, ripple has collaborated with local independent businesses to offer rewards, including zero-waste starter kits, Hot Pod Yoga class passes and ethical accessories from Cardiff-based fashion brand Maykher.

To support the campaign, find the pledge page here or follow ripple’s
journey across social media at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

kickstarter tickets (1)


Is it wheelie that important?

The #bingate controversy raged on this week with the council beginning its new waste collection regime. Here, a Canton resident sets out why we should be worried about how decisions are made in our area – bins are just the beginning….

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/cardiffwheeliebinsarerubbish

Residents across the city lined up their wheelie bins this week as the council’s new waste management strategy lurched into action. Apart from a few dissenters, most played by the new rules, but you’d have to be living in your bin to have missed the controversy surrounding #bingate.

I’ll come out right now as an anti-binner. In my street we don’t have too much of an issue with litter, and recycling levels are high. Our main concern is that we don’t really have anywhere to store our brand new wheelie bins. Contrary to what some media commentators (and apparently some of our own elected councillors) seem to think, we know this is a first world problem. And for those shouting NIMBY: having respect and concern for your own home isn’t unreasonable, as long as a healthy sense of perspective is maintained.

Of much higher importance than my front doorstep are the other responsibilities our elected officials have for this city. These are the people in charge of our schools; the welfare services my elderly neighbours rely on; our parks, leisure centres and libraries, not to mention our transport infrastructure and the job of presenting Cardiff to the world.

Many bin-gate residents are more concerned that the council has demonstrated a lack of consultation, transparency and communication over these changes and that this shouldn’t go unchecked, because their next decision might be about something genuinely life-changing. We’re more annoyed at the process than the outcome. We can live with bins, but we’re still not sure why we have to.

I found two published surveys on waste management, here and here, which report the high level of commitment to increasing recycling across Cardiff. How have these same residents reacted with such vitriol to the new recycling scheme?

Well, for one the new bins cost almost £2m. Trust us, say the council – we must spend now to avoid huge fines in future. But how many houses with little or no garden waste received a 240-litre bin last week, entirely surplus to requirement? How many of these are being returned, requiring special collection services at further cost? Some areas have been given bins where bags were working fine. Some who desperately want bins are still on bags. Who made these decisions and how? These are reasonable questions to ask given the council’s public commitment to transparency. A one-size fits all approach has been imposed on the city with little concern for local circumstances.

For those mocking the concerned residents of Canton: surely engagement in the democratic process is a good thing? It’s easy to play top trumps with worthy causes. Worried about wheelie bins; what about education? Concerned about austerity measures; there are people in the world dying from lack of fresh water. This undermines the role of the citizen in our democracy. If bin-gate is the issue that kick-starts more public engagement in how our city is run, then some good can come of the saga.

Did you know that there is a public survey live on Ask Cardiff right now? Closing date is 7th September. Officials did attempt to consult through surveys, events, social media and articles in the County Times. Despite this effort most residents didn’t feel consulted until well after the decision was made. Surely a communications rethink is needed?

In the spirit of community, how can Cardiff get past bin-gate? It’s clear that we need to think radically about recycling and waste management, and it’s also clear that the council isn’t providing innovative leadership. I’m horrified by some of the pictures I’ve seen on twitter – communities continually harassed by tidal waves of litter due to seagulls, fly tipping or common lack of courtesy from litter-louts. That’s not something any resident should have to put up with, but judging from today’s pictures, wheelie bins aren’t going to be the magic solution.

So what can communities do to tackle the problems caused by waste, and what support do we need from our elected officials?



Have your say in the comments section!

Cardiff wasteland: the Lamby Way landfill site

Chances are you have no idea where your stuff gets taken when you throw it away. Photographer Peppe Iovino has been investigating, so you don’t have to. He visited Lamby Way landfill. REDUSE, REUSE, RECYCLE, PEOPLE!

 Have you ever wondered about where your rubbish goes, when you throw it away?

No? Well, let’s have a journey, through Cardiff’s Lamby Way landfill general waste disposal site. Here it is!

You walk, consume, throw, so easily without wondering where your litter goes, but it can not disappear in a bin. It remains as a stain on your land. It creates a grey land, a dark material. It is highly polluting and needs to be monitored for over 60 years,

Lamby Way, on the outskirts of Cardiff, is where local litter from the past 30 years ends up. It’s a site that’s 80 hectares of land, covered by all the stuff you’ve ever put in a general bin over the past three decades.

All black bin bags, everything that’s not recyclable is picked up by council trucks and ends here in Lamby Way.

A bulldozer crosses the landfill three times a day to pack it down, day by day, bag by bag.

Periodically it is covered by different plastic layer of different kinds to isolate the waste till the area become as what you see below, a dark mud material, that is all the waste composing during the years, a live material that creates liquid and gas residuals that are highly polluting. It needs to be constantly monitored, even over 60 years after it is closed, it creates the dark land you see below…


Explore the rest of Lamby Way and see the rest of Peppe’s photographs: WasteShades

Peppe Iovino Photographer: Facebook page


Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter