SA’s first plastic-free retailers are the change we want to sea

SA’s first plastic-free retailers are the change we want to sea

Meet Sam and Dom Moleta, owners of The Refillery, the planet-friendly grocer. They take the idle talk of going plastic-free and turn it into reality. 

These sea-loving parents of two dived head first: Dom quit his job and the couple opened a plastic-free grocer, The Refillery.

The plan was to open a store that tackled the plastic waste issue. Sam and Dom did this in 2018, after they had participated in ‘plastic-free July’, a global challenge.

“We found it challenging in a number of ways – it sort of sparked the idea. What can we do to reduce the plastic consumption issue that we’ve got?” says Sam Moleta, a true plasticarian at heart. (Yes, it’s a thing).

While working for six years in the yachting industry and then owning a hotel in Thailand, the pair witnessed first-hand the harmful effects of single-use plastic on the oceans. They became determined to make a real difference in a cause they are passionate about.


someone who loves the ocean

Moving back to SA meant selling everything and starting a business in a retail market that was largely non-existent.

“It was a huge challenge to find suppliers who were willing to change their packaging for us because we are very small, so a lot of people just said ‘no’ off the bat. Now we are working with suppliers to ensure The Refillery is a completely single-use-plastic-free chain.”

Sam Moleta

A pleasant surprise post-lockdown has been that people from all around the province have started traveling to experience the unique plastic-free shopping The Refillery offers.

“The most environmentally friendly product is the one you didn’t buy.”

Joshua Becker

“Small businesses and start-ups are not for the faint hearted.”

Sam Moleta

This fierce pair has successfully launched four more retail stores in the city, plus one in Pretoria. Now that’s being the change you want to sea!

Give them a visit:

And show them some love:

Remember to take along your own reusable bags, containers, or glass bottles.

P.S. Interested in different ways to do retail? Know small business owners just like Sam and Dom? Share this The Small Business Showcase article far and wide:

Search Businesses