You can now get refills for your household and personal care needs at Zer0Waste Eco-Corner in Sydenham. Tucked inside the community space that houses Dragonfly Yoga and Leo’s Café on Sydenham Road, this cosy establishment was opened in May 2023 by Maree Sala, who is passionate about reducing our everyday waste, and sourcing products with environmental and ethical credentials.

We asked Maree about what inspired her to open up Zer0Waste Eco-Corner.


What does ‘zero waste’ mean to you?

It is never about perfection – it is almost impossible to implement a totally zero waste lifestyle – it is just about making a conscious effort to make better choices whenever you can. If I were to define it, then I would simplify it down to the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In other words: reduce what I use, reuse as much as I can and send what it is left to recycling, and compost what I can not.


What inspired you to open a zero-waste shop?

My personal values and convictions have been a driving force behind my decision to start a zero waste shop. Also a commitment to the next generation; I’d like to depart this world knowing I did my very best to leave it a little bit better than I found it.


What type of products do you sell?

We are mainly a refillery, meaning a shop where customers can refill their own reusable containers with personal care – skincare included – and household products to reduce packaging waste. Moreover, we also sell a variety of other products: from natural soap bars to deodorants, from ethically sourced bamboo toothbrushes to non-toxic yoga mats, amongst many other products. Everything found in our little corner is sourced in the UK, plastic free, sustainable, ethical, ecofriendly, plant based, organic and non-toxic.


How did you source your products?

Through vast research/specialised publications/online groups and conversations with other sustainable shop owners. For the last 10 plus years I have been trying to be as ecological and conscientious as possible in my choices and therefore am familiar with most of these products/suppliers.


Some of the items on sale in the zero waste shop, including reusable water bottle, forks, and soap

What advice would you give to someone who wants to go embark on a zero-waste lifestyle?

Not to just focus on plastic but to also consider where the product comes from, what it is made from, who by and where and what you will do with it when you are finished with it. Aim to buy the most ethical and eco-friendly option available each time, if indeed you need to buy anything at all. Our greatest power lies in the way we spend our money. A zero-waste life style does not need to be done perfectly but it needs to be done.


What are your bestseller products?

In the refillery section, I would probably say washing up liquid and laundry liquid. One customer told me that the washing up liquid was so much better for her hands than another well known brand!

For personal care, hand soaps, shampoos and body washes are popular and customers regularly come back for more.

Unfortunately, we do not have the space for food but we sell a few confectionary items. Organic dark chocolate, organic dates and organic apricots are very popular.


Zer0Waste Eco Corner is at the Dragonfly Yoga Studio 22A-24 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW

You can view other information on local zero waste shops and markets here.