A couple have opened a zero waste shop in the town to enable shoppers to reduce their plastic consumption.
Former IT consultant of 20 years Mark Day opened Day Zero on December 1 with wife Holly after deciding to do something ‘more in-line with his own values’.
The dad-of-one - who also worked in conservation - had already switched to buying fruit and vegetables from markets to avoid plastic packaging but was ‘frustrated’ that he could not avoid it in the rest of his shopping.
He and Holly, who met while working in conservation, spent six months gauging demand, talking with suppliers and pushing the shop on social media before opening this month - with an ‘absolutely packed’ first day of business.
Mark, dad to one-year-old son Merlin, said he ‘couldn’t really believe it’.
The shop enables people not wanting to contribute to plastic waste to buy whole foods such as, rice, pasta or herbs, cleaning products or toiletries to fill reused plastic containers from home at the shop - instead of buying products prepackaged.
He said: “I pushed it really heavily on social media with lots of people saying it was exactly what they wanted - that gave us the confidence that it would be well-received.
“It’s been really well-received by the community - it’s important for us to value people’s demand and help people feel like it’s their shop as well as ours - people are really coming together behind it.”
Mark came upon the idea of a zero waste shop after becoming frustrated working in a stressful and unfulfilling IT job.
He said: “During the last decade I started thinking about the things I really enjoyed and realised I’m much happier when I’m doing things in-line with my own values.
“I wanted to do something that would benefit the environment and other people as well - we wanted to help others who wanted to do similar things to us.
“It was the right time and it seems like a lot of people have greater awareness of environmental issues and the damage plastic doing to the environment.
“It’s about helping people make the changes they are looking for- to make the switch to reusable items instead of disposable ones.”
High Peak MP Ruth George helped open the shop on its first day.
She said: “My boys loved all the jars of natural sweets, muesli, basics and spices and the delicious smells of the natural soaps and all the zero-plastic alternatives.
“I’m so pleased there’s such a lovely option to avoid plastics.”
Scientists estimate eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year - the equivalent to a rubbish truck dumping a full load into the ocean every minute.
Day Zero is located on High Street opposite the Old Sun Inn and is open six days a week but closed on Wednesdays.
The shop is also open late until 7pm on a Thursday.
n For more information about Day Zero, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/dayzeroshop.