SEEING the devastating consequences discarded plastics along our sea shores can have on marine life have made us far more conscious of protecting our planet.

We must all be mindful of protecting our environment for future generations and the plastics clamp down is one of many campaigns aiming to raise awareness and encouraging us to take more responsibility for the potential impact of our actions.

Sorraya Hussain had always been conscious of reducing waste. It was the recollection of her mum appearing from the shops with produce tucked into paper bags that gave her the idea of setting up her own pop up enterprise where people bring their own jars to fill up with kitchen cupboard essentials.

Her initial pop up shop opens from 11am until 1pm on Saturday July 7 at her Baildon home where she will be encouraging people to take their own containers and fill up with foods such as cereals, porridge, pasta, nuts and spices. Cleaning products, washing up liquids and detergents and body care such as shampoos and conditioners are among the other items available from Refill Shipley.

A pay-as-you-feel cafe will be available too and proceeds will be donated to the Bradford Red Box Project, part of a national initiative helping to tackle ‘Period Poverty’ by providing free sanitary products for women in need.

Sorraya has planned another pop up shop at the Shipley Alternative Clothes Swap event at the Kirkgate Centre and is also appearing at the Bingley Show.

Described as a ‘low waste shop’ Sorraya’s aim is to encourage people to cut down on packaging they use by adopting a different approach to shopping.

“The concept is simple in that customers bring their own containers, bags, fill up with items and pay,” says Sorraya, who aims to run the business in a pop up format for the first six months to gauge public response.

She is keen to create a community hub delivering social benefits too such as zero waste workshops and community litter picks.

Another element of Refill Shipley is it also offers a collection point for baby food pouches - the benefit being each pouch has a monetary value and when sent off to the recycling company in bulk, cash is given to a local charity.

For Sorraya, protecting the planet is something she became more conscious of after becoming a mum.

The 42-year-old, whose daughter Eliza is now one, developed the idea for the shop while on maternity leave.

“When I had my daughter I was researching nappies and things like that and I read somewhere about nappies and it taking about 400 years for them to decompose. That just stayed in my head.”

For Sorraya and her family it was a natural progression. She explains they have always recycled and have their own allotment.

“My husband and I have always been quite aware of our consumer footprint. We have always recycled and try to buy locally,” she explains.

“We continue to recycle but find our recycling bin is constantly full - it was never ending.”

Conscious of the growth of the Zero Waste movement and the impact plastics is having on our environment, marine life in particular, Sorraya was keen to explore options within her own city.

There are already signs of consumer conscience - many have changed their shopping habits opting to purchase locally-sourced produce from the farmers markets that pitch up regularly around the area.

“For me it’s about helping people to reduce waste, to shop more efficiently,” says Sorraya.

“I want zero waste to be affordable for everyone.”

“You think about your day to day products and think ‘what can I do quickly that could have a tiny bit of difference - small difference big change.”

Sorraya, who is keen to step away from the ‘eco-warrior image,’ is eager to create a nice community for her daughter too. “I just want to be able to create a community that is going to be a nice place for her and also going to have a bit of an impact on the environment.

“I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I am making sure us adults leave the planet sustainable for the future and that is my whole aim.”

“I am just a mum who thinks ‘what can I do to make a small difference.”

For more information, or to get involved with Refill Shipley, visit