OLD Town caterer Lesley Chandler wanted a way to shop for her groceries without having to wade through a sea of plastic.

But together with friends, she struggled to find anywhere that would sell her pasta, rice and other dried goods without the plastic packaging.

They hatched a plan to open their own zero waste food shop, following the lead of towns and cities like Bristol and Marlborough.

That shop, called Nude Foods, launched on Wednesday evening.

Occupying part of Devizes Road juice bar and café The Core, Nude Foods will stock more than 50 dried goods.

Shoppers can buy everything from yoghurt-covered dried fruits to mung beans.

The twist? People will need to bring their own containers, with the shop able to refill anything from jam jars to plastic boxes.

Lesley said: “I wanted to reduce my single-use plastic use, but we didn’t have a zero-waste shop in Swindon.

“I live up the road. I wanted to be able to walk down the road and do my shopping without using something plastic.

“I’m so proud to get this off the ground.”

The project is a collaboration between new group Swindon Zero Waste Initiative and The Core. The juice bar’s owner, Kris Talikowski, said: “I think it’s really important businesses evolve with the times. As the world recognises the impact of plastic pollution and climate change, it’s important we take small steps to help.”

There was support from residents and councillors at Wednesday night’s launch event.

Okus resident Andrea Lane said: “I like natural foods. I come here for drinks quite a bit and I just noticed the foods. I haven’t bought anything yet - but I will do.”Candida Morgan, who lives in the town centre, said: “We’re interested in the foods they stock. We’re looking for healthy foods - that’s why we came - and I’m worried about plastic waste.”

Nick Burns-Howell, a parish councillor for Old Town, added: “We can all do small things to cut down on our use of plastic. This is a great initiative that I am sure many Old Town residents and I will use.”

Zero waste shops are growing in popularity, as documentaries like David Attenborough’s Blue Planet boost people’s awareness of the impact on the environment of plastic waste. Purton House Organics and, more recently, Marlborough’s Packaging NOT Included, have opened offering shoppers the chance to bring their own containers.

Nude Foods will be open Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm.

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