A NEW family-run plastic free shop has opened on Old Christchurch Road and has got residents thinking about limiting their environmental impact.

Food on the Loose, on the junction of Christchurch Road and Harewood Avenue in Pokesdown, opened its doors on Saturday and has already got locals changing their shopping and eating habits.

Owned by Jane Simkins and run by her two daughters Jennie Simkins and Maxime Noble, the plastic free shop stocks a wide variety of loose food, herbs, tea and coffee, as well as a large filling station for household cleaning products and toiletries.

Jennie, who lives in Springbourne, said: “I thought it up over three years ago, before refill shops were even a thing. I used to think ‘why couldn’t you go to a shop and refill everyday items like shampoo and things like that?’

“Then plastic free shops started to take off and it has taken that long for my idea to get off the ground and to find the right items we want to sell in our store.”

Jennie said that, although the shop has had a lot of visitors on its opening weekend, many of whom are keen to make the switch to plastic free shopping, around 70 per cent of customers came into the shop just to have a look around.

The family owners are hoping that, through small changes to how people shop, people can not only eat healthier but reduce their own individual impact on the environment.

“People were saying to us that they used to do their shopping online but after seeing the sorts of things we have on offer, want to change their shopping habits and come and visit us, which is one of the main reasons why we set it up,” said Jennie.

Although the shop has paper bags for shoppers to use, they encourage customers to bring in their own pots to collect their desired products.

With ambitions to install a milk dispenser and possibly a ‘make your own’ peanut butter station, the shop looks to help residents and the environment one shopping item at a time.

Jennie continued: “We want to help change people’s eating habits.”