5 Zero-Waste Refill Stores in Wisconsin to Take Your Sustainability Efforts to the Next Level

Refill stores offer a new eco-friendly way to shop for household necessities (Jamie Bloom Meier/Live Love Lens, The Washington Post).

By Fiona Hatch

August 31, 2023

Ever been to a refill store? Ever heard of one? We explain what and where they are, and why you’ll want to stop by soon!

DID YOU KNOW? The average household uses 66 pieces of plastic every day.

Refill stores or zero waste shops are eco-friendly shopping alternatives that “cut out any unnecessary or wasteful packaging by storing products in large containers for shoppers to fill up their own bags, boxes, bottles and jars.”

Think of them like old-school candy shops, but their jars are filled with shampoos, soaps, and more.

MORE: The Once-Niche Refill Shop Trend is Going Mainstream–And Global

Refill stores are a great way to cut back on your waste–something many shoppers want. Research by Gnatta shows almost half (47%) of consumers say they prefer reusable packaging, while 32% prioritize sustainable materials, and 31% prefer to source their products locally. 

And they’re surging in popularity! There are now zero-waste stores in all 50 states, but finding one near you can still be tough. Here are 5 we recommend in Wisconsin:

Green Life Trading Co – Madison

The Green Life Trading Co is both a sustainability newsletter and a zero-waste store. Refill your home goods, skincare, cosmetics, aromatics, vitamins, haircare, and more by filling your own bags or jars–or, pick up a reusable container while in-store! 

Process – Stevens Point

Process, a multi-purpose zero waste shop that opened in 2020, has a simple tagline: Reduce, Reuse, Rethink. The store sells everything from kitchen and bathroom products to body care and cosmetics. All products are eco-friendly, and many are made by Black, Indigenous, or local sellers (when possible.)

Sustain Ability – Janesville

Sustain Ability is a great zero-waste shop option for Southern Wisconsin based on eco-minimalism, or living a life that is both simple and environmentally conscious. The shop’s package- and plastic-free products are locally and ethically produced. They’re reasonably-priced, too!

The Eau Claire Refillery – Eau Claire

The Eau Claire Refillery not only sells package-free products including soaps, detergents, and other cleaners, the shop encourages you to bring in other products for them to recycle like: flexible plastic snack pouches, razors, baby food packages, toothbrushes, toothpaste containers, and candy wrappers. Here’s the full list.

The Juggery – Chippewa Falls

The Juggery is one of the state’s newest refill shops, serving northwestern Wisconsin. The shop has limited hours, but right now, you can stop by every Saturday from 11am – 3pm with an empty container and fill up on your essential cleaning and personal care products. All products are toxic-free.

Bonus: Zero-Waste Grocery Stores

While personal care shops are the new frontier when it comes to eliminating waste, the number of sustainable grocery stores in Wisconsin has been growing for the past decade. Here are more than two dozen, sorted by city:

Zero-Waste Grocery Guide: Find a Sustainable Store Near You

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