Low-waste mobile shop in Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville is closing


Published March 24, 2022 at 8:22 pm

A low-waste mobile shop that helped eco-conscious consumers in Hamilton and Halton Region rely less on single-use plastics is winding down operations.

Park Market & Refillery, which is based in Burlington but delivers andalso holds pop-up events in Hamilton and Oakville, says it is closing. Co-owners Erika Minkhorst and Jeff Scott wrote in an Instagram post that in spite of their efforts over the last two-plus years that the business model for a shop that offers low-waste living solutions was not viable.

A low-waste shop, or zero-waste shop, involves consumers bringing containers, so they pay only for home and body goods they are purchasing, such as soap, shampoo, detergent or all-purpose cleaners. Minkhorst and Scott have told area media portals that they took inspiration for the shop from a trip to New Zealand, where the zero-waste movement has gained more purchase than it has in much in North America.

“In a nutshell we just couldn’t make it work,” Minkhorst and Scott stated. “We tried, we really did and we couldn’t have made it this far without you.

“We’re beyond grateful to the community of folks we have had the privilege of connecting with since our very first pop-up. We have learned so much from you and are grateful for all of your support. You truly inspired us in different ways every day.”

There are 23 zero-waste shops in Ontario, according to canadareduces.ca. All but three are in Toronto.

Park, whose storefront is at 5109 Harvester Rd. in Burlington, says it has no more pop-up events scheduled. Its refill station at The Painted Bench antique furniture store in Hamilton (208 Ottawa St. N.) will also close at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 26).

‘Create as little waste as possible’

The co-owners say that Park will remain open for a few more weeks and there will be “deep markdowns” as they try to move their remaining stock.

“We’re hoping to move all remaining inventory and create as little waste as possible as a result of our closure,” Minkhorst and Scott stated.

Coincidentally, the announcement comes just three days shy of the three-year anniversary of Hamilton city council declaring a climate crisis. That resolution was passed on March 27, 2019.