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UnSealed - Clacton-on-Sea's first Zero Waste Shop

by Kayleigh Seal in Clacton On Sea, England, United Kingdom

UnSealed - Clacton-on-Sea's first Zero Waste Shop
On 19th November 2019 we successfully raised £802 with 28 supporters in 55 days

To bring plastic free shopping to my community - Helping and inspiring others to make small changes to reduce their plastic usage

by Kayleigh Seal in Clacton On Sea, England, United Kingdom

About Me

Hi I'm Kayleigh Seal, I have lived in Clacton all my life.

Why ?

I decided a year ago to begin my own plastic free journey, which I have to say has been far from easy. I have had to make some hard decisions and changes to my lifestyle.  Shopping locally supporting my local butchers, farm shop and Pet shop who all let you use your own containers as well as going back to doorstep milk deliveries and avoiding supermarkets has really helped. I am not 100% zero waste and by no means perfect but I try to make ethical decisions around what products I purchase to reduce my environmental impact. National million pound supermarket chains have snuck in and made us so reliant on the way they want us to shop, making it all about convenience and speed. The plastic and other single use packaging is for their benefit not ours – and we really don’t need plastic encased food and products.

Living in a coastal town I became increasingly distressed by the plastic pollution I noticed whilst walking on the beach and in the streets. I was shocked to discover that my area was ranked one of the lowest for recycling house hold waste, coming 323rd out of 345 local authorities! EU targets say areas should recycle at least half of their household waste, unfortunately the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting by my local council -Tendring District Council - was a mere 27% between April 2017 and April 2018 – with collected household waste at 336.10kg per person!!  The below image is one of our beaches in Clacton !

What is the solution?

Trying to be plastic free is incredibly frustrating as there are so many store cupboard ingredients that I cannot buy plastic free such as rice, nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar - the list is endless. This got me thinking about what i could do to help myself and others to shop plastic free and the idea of opening my own Zero waste shop started to develop. Thankfully there are more and more like minded people opening up this type of shop across the country which is fabulous news for consumers and the planet. In August this year I was made redundant which was the spur I needed and UnSealed was born. 

What does a Zero Waste shop sell?

At UnSealed absolutely everyone will be able to shop with us plastic free WooHoo ! We will stock a wide selection of dried store cupboard foods from flour, nuts and dried fruit to pasta and rice along with re-fill oil and vinegar. Re-fill household cleaning and personal care products will also be available along with shampoo, soap bars and zero waste home ware products. Customers will be able to bring their own (reusable) containers to fill with the products on offer, which means they can buy as much or as little as they like and as an extra bonus there will be no packaging to throw “away”. I know that cost is a huge factor for a lot of people so keeping prices as low as practicably possible is a priority for me. UnSealed – a Weigh to save.


Community is very important to me which is why I am setting up the shop so that profits will be invested both into developing the shop and local projects aiming to help my local community. I am really looking forward to sharing Zero Waste tips and ideas, encouraging people to make small changes and take responsibility for their choices, which will start to make a big difference for own town and the environment. I will be on hand to offer help and advice on ways to say NO to single use items. As people make changes it will encourage and empower them to spread the world to others. The feedback I have received about opening a Zero Waste shop has been super positive and I am actively engaging with the community around what they would like to see in my little shop.

I am planning to offer a water bottle refill service in conjunction with the organisation ReFill and get the council and seafront traders involved to see what can be implemented to make our seafront a plastic free zone. 

I will be helping a local school who have signed up to the Terracycle waste project by acting as a collection point – which will also allow me to engage and have conversation with customers around currently “un-recyclable” waste and the overuse of plastic.  

Why Crowd funding?

I am crowd funding to add to my own investment having put my redundancy money into buying my own small shop. I now need help to purchase gravity fed food dispensers to ensure safe food storage and hygiene, along with other large items. I would really love to have glass dispensers but the cost of these is pretty prohibitive! I will be looking to up-cycle suitable items and furniture for use in the shop.  

I will be paying for the following start up expenses from my own investment:-

Item                                Cost 

Till and scales                £4,000

Stock - food                   £4,000

Stock – non food            £2,000

Your kind donation will help UnSealed with the following costs:- 

Food dispensers             £4,727

Liquid refill dispensers    £1,910

Total costs                    £16,637 

I would like to thank you in advance for your support, every donation large or small is truly gratefully received. Even if you can’t donate, I would really appreciate it if you could share on social media and with people you know - together we can make a difference.

What do you get for supporting?

Thank you reward gifts - plastic free of course! Different reward gifts are available for fixed donations.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

UnSealed cotton Tote bag designed by artist Anupa Jayakrishnan Gardner.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A High 5 and a virtual hug.

£30 or more

£30 Reward

UnSealed cotton Tote bag designed by artist Anupa Jayakrishnan Gardner and 10% off your first shop with us.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

UnSealed cotton Tote bag designed by artist Anupa Jayakrishnan Gardner, Reusable travel cutlery pouch including bamboo cutlery and metal straw.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

UnSealed cotton Tote bag designed by artist Anupa Jayakrishnan Gardner, 10% discount for 3 months, Re-usable s'wheat drink bottle

£200 or more

£200 Reward

UnSealed cotton Tote bag designed by artist Anupa Jayakrishnan Gardner, s’wheat drink bottle, Reusable travel cutlery pouch including bamboo cutlery and metal straw., £10 voucher.

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