A NEW household and grocery store free of single-use plastic opened its doors in Bournemouth this weekend.

The founders of Almond & Co say it will be the first store in Bournemouth dedicated to reducing the town’s plastic footprint.

The store in Poole Road in Westbourne will sell goods from local producers as well as brands from further afield.

Customers will be able to stock up on essentials such as oil, rice, pasta, flour, milk, grains and coffee beans at the store’s dispensing points.

The store will also sell organic and loose fruit and vegetables as well as locally baked bread and cake and frozen fruits.

Almond & Co was founded by Bournemouth residents Sam Almond and Eleanor Whyton.

The pair were inspired to open the store in Bournemouth after learning about zero-waste shops in Totnes and Berlin and the increasing amount of plastic pollution Sam encountered while surfing and on the beach.

Sam’s interest in eco-friendly living stems from his career as an environmental scientist at the European Centre For Medium-Range Weather Forecasts working on the European Climate Change Service.

Sam successfully campaigned to remove plastic straws and single-use plastic cups in Bournemouth council’s beach kiosks in 2018 and often takes his sons on beach cleaning expeditions in Bournemouth.

Eleanor, who grew up in the New Forest and studied illustration at the Arts University Bournemouth, was inspired to reduce her own environmental footprint after reading Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson and has not thrown out general waste in more than six months.

Sam said: “The team have rigorously tested everything stocked, from fresh and frozen produce to clever everyday products.

“They find refillable eco-friendly cleaning products, biodegradable toothbrushes, reusable nappies, stainless steel straws, plastic-free chewing gum, handmade skin and body care and much more, all responsibly sourced and produced.”

He added: “We can’t wait to open as it has taken the best part of two years to get to the opening day; it all seems very surreal.”