A NEW zero-waste shop is said to be the first of its kind to open its doors in a Wiltshire town.

Jo Portsmouth got The Town Pantry up and running in Royal Wootton Bassett High Street after making a success of selling plastic-free products from a horsebox.

She said: “Everything was going really well and I had looked at renting a space because I had so much produce to sell it couldn’t fit into the horsebox any more.

“I got the shop all fitted up within three weeks and opened on October 3.

"It’s going really well, we’ve gained loads of interest. I’ve had loyal customers and new ones visit since we opened.”

Covid-19 meant there was no ribbon-cutting but Jo did stage a grand opening when she first started out in the horsebox.

She sells a wide range of products including pasta, rice, beans, lentils, deodorant, toothpaste and other food and toiletries.

Jo said: “Before I started my business I had become fed up of going to the supermarket, unloading your shopping to pack away to find you’re throwing away loads of plastic. It seemed so pointless.

“I started to make small changes to reduce the amount of plastic I was using. But then I started realising things like pasta and cereal were unavoidable where plastic was concerned. I went around to zero-waste shops in Wiltshire and that’s when the idea came to me.

“It seemed too big a risk to open a shop to start with as they usually have big leases and I wanted to test the waters, that’s why I started in a horsebox and now I’m here with my own store.”

Jo says there is only around a dozen zero-waste shops in Wiltshire and this is the first one to open up in Bassett.

And with the coronavirus crisis continuing she has put safety measures in place such as getting customers to wear masks and use hand sanitiser, regularly cleaning surfaces and only allowing two customers in at a time.

“It makes me so proud to have started with an idea and then achieving my end goal,” Jo said.

“It is such a difficult time, it’s nerve-wracking to take this step in the middle of a pandemic. But I think it will do well as it’s the only store of its kind in the area.

“We’ve had some great feedback from people in the town.

"They love how it looks and people are excited for another shop on the High Street.”