A NEW plastic-free supermarket is believed to be the first zero waste shop to open in south Essex.

Shoppers will be offered guilt free shopping at the store, set to open in Leigh.

It promises organic whole foods, plant-based cleaning products and natural, plastic-free beauty.

Customers will be able to bring their own containers to fill with a range of ethically sourced products, with claims they will be cheaper than supermarket brands.

Supporters have been inspired by programmes like Blue Planet 2 to raise awareness of the havoc caused to our oceans by discarded plastic, which does not bio-degrade.

Gemma Deeney, 36, from Leigh is behind the new business.

She said: “I started getting the idea for this about a year ago. I wanted to eat more organically and became aware of the plastic waste we create. I saw Blue Planet and thought I needed to do something about it.

“I did some research and went to Totness to look at Earth Food Love, which was one of the first zero waste shops to open in the country.”

Ms Deeney added: “We will be selling mostly dried foods like nuts, rice and oats which will all be organic.

“There will also be tea, coffee and nut butter machines. We’re hoping to also have a nut milk machine as well as toiletries which will be in glass containers.”

The store, which has yet to decide on a name, will open in November.

It follows the opening of similar store in Ramsbottom, Lancs this month by 26-yer-old Abbie Sellars who claims she will save more than 10,000 pieces of plastic being used each week.

The eco-friendly store will be in the old electrical and television store near Strangeways hairdressers in Elm Road. Jon Fuller of South East Essex Friends of the Earth, who lives in Westcliff, said: “Most people are incredibly worried about plastic pollution and so will be delighted to see a new business offering this service.

“I can’t wait for the shop to be opened.”