As the debate intensifies over the use of plastic, Wirral West has seen the introduction of its first zero-waste store, the Hoylake Pantry.
The backlash towards plastic has been on the rise due to the harm it causes to the environment.
A zero-waste shop is one of many new ideas in the fight against non-reusable items and food waste. The stores aim to reduce waste and contain zero plastic by allowing customers to buy their products without the packaging.
There has been a significant rise in the number of zero-waste stores over the past two years and it is estimated that there now around 100-200 of them in the UK, including another across the other side of the Wirral peninsula at Birkenhead Market with Waste Not Want Not.
Shoppers can also bring their own reusable containers, tubs, bottles or use the donated ones which are available at the store. The customer can then buy as much of the available products as they need.
The store sells packaged free dried food such as rice, pasta and oats. As well as this, it also sells plastic-free alternatives and other household’s products.
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The shop was set up by Sharon Hall. Speaking to JMU Journalism on how beneficial zero-waste shops can be, she said: “I think it’s a gradual thing and customers are certainly demanding products now without plastic. You can see that the big supermarkets are gradually responding to customer pressure and I think this kind of shop is showing that it can be done.”
She added: “With all the climate change there’s a lot of anxiety around about the climate and what we’re doing and I think zero-waste shops give people the opportunity to make a bit of difference in their life.”
Feedback towards Sharon’s shop has so far been very positive with the store receiving a lot of regular customers who are looking to do their bit for the planet.