Eco-friendly refill now open in Hancock

Zero waste living may now be more doable in the Western UP
Halloween is in full swing all around Refill U.P. in Hancock.
Halloween is in full swing all around Refill U.P. in Hancock.(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Refill U.P. is now open on Quincy St. in Hancock. It’s a waste-free refill station, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“At the very basic level, we have everyday needs between body care, home goods products, as well as just sustainable replacements,” said Refill U.P. Majority Owner Briana Tucker. “And just swaps for things that we use every day.”

As its name suggests, Refill U.P. encourages customers to refill their used containers, as opposed to buying a whole new one every time.

Common examples are shampoos, lotions and detergents.

However, the store also sells sustainable, reuseable containers to fill.

“We do encourage folks to bring in their own containers, that’s kind of like half the fun,” said Tucker. “Especially for folks like me who may be bottle hoarders,” she added, laughing.

Shopping at Refill U.P. is simple.

First, you enter the building. Then, you will tare your container, or measure its empty weight to know how much product you fill it with.

Next, you fill it up with your desired products and then tare it again.

Then, you’ll be rung up based on what you got.

Tucker started her refill business in June by setting up a booth at farmers markets in Houghton County. Since then, she’s already diverted 261 plastic containers from landfills.

“Our transfer will take recycling, but at the same time recycling isn’t the answer,” said Tucker. “We kind of can’t recycle our way out of years and years of plastic.”

If you aren’t sure what products may be right for you, Tucker is happy to help.

“I’m just having a good time having conversations with people and just like reaffirming that like, sustainability can be for everyone and it’s really about small steps,” added Tucker. “And kind of moving forward in that way.”

Tucker says as she continues to establish the business she hopes to hire a staff to keep the store open on weekdays.

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