A PIONEERING sustainable shop has closed after just 19 months.

Pembrokeshire Refill opened at the St Govan’s Centre in Pembroke Dock in October 2022. The building was also the home the town’s community fridge.

The shop was an initiative of Pembrokeshire Frame, a charity which is known for giving donated furniture new homes for a reasonable donation.

It sold loose foodstuffs include cereals, quinoa, rice, pasta, lentils, cous cous, desiccated coconut, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and herbs, loose-leaf teas and coffee beans.

It also retailed cleaning products including washing-up liquid, toilet cleaner and fabric conditioner while body care products include shampoo, conditioner and handwash.

In a bid to cut down on plastic packaging, customers could use their own storage containers and buy products by weight.

The shop also supplied recyclable, compostable and biodegradable paper bags as well as many clean repurposed containers that were free to a good home.

The aim was to make refilling as easy, cheap and convenient as possible.

Pembrokeshire Refill was designed and outfitted by the team at Frame, almost entirely from repurposed materials.

The shop was set up with help from a £25,000 grant from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority ‘s Sustainable Development Fund.

The manager’s salary was partly covered by a £10,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.

This week the shop announced that it was closing.

“With heavy hearts we will close our door for the final time on Thursday, March 28,” said a statement issued by the business.

“It is with great regret and sadness that we must share with you that the board of Pembrokeshire Frame Ltd have made the decision to close Pembrokeshire Refill.

“For the past 19 months we have tried very hard to make the shop self-sustaining but unfortunately, we must as a charity, like any other business, make difficult decisions regarding our viability.

“In the beginning, a small team of support workers and volunteers worked hard to create a beautiful, inviting space that we were all very proud of.

“Since then our amazing little team has worked tirelessly to welcome our community and share less-wasteful lifestyle options with you. We have very much enjoyed meeting you and swapping sustainable tips with you.”

The staff thanked everyone who has supported the ‘little shop with a big dream’ over the past 19 months and especially during its final week.

“Keep up your good work all and keep fighting plastic waste,” it said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure serving Pembrokeshire this last 19 months.”

Last year, the Haverfordwest Community Fridge helped prevent over 46 tons of surplus food from going to waste and enabled over 18,000 people to taste what combating food waste tasted like.