Zero-waste businesses gain momentum in St. Petersburg

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Several so-called zero-waste businesses are changing the way people shop in St. Petersburg.

“Rethink ingredients, rethink garbage, and rethink their impact on planet Earth,” are the lessons Monica Leonard, owner of The Refillery, teaches her customers.

The new store, which opened on Earth Day, allows shoppers to refill their own reusable containers with soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, and much more. A branch of Molly's Suds, The Refillery hopes to raise awareness about waste and how to reduce it.

"We thought, 'Wouldn’t it be cool for people to be able to come and refill their laundry detergent, save money, and you’re also reducing waste,'” said Leonard.

Black Crow Coffee, near downtown St. Petersburg, was the first officially certified zero-waste coffee shop in Florida. Certified by Shift Co., 90% of what the coffee shop produces stays away from landfills.

For example, 350 lbs. of coffee grounds every week are picked up by Suncoast Compost. In addition, all of its to-go cups, covers, and straws are made from biodegradable materials.

"Anything that anybody can do, or any business can do, in any small way, is impactful,” said Deana Hawk, owner of Black Crow.