A new plastic-free refill shop - which will be the first of its kind in the district - is set to open in St Neots.

What Melina hopes the shop will look like What Melina hopes the shop will look like

The Refill Shop, based in St Marys Street, will stock a range of food, household essentials and beauty products that avoid plastic or plastic packaging in an effort to help people reduce the amount of plastic they throw away.

Former teacher, Melina La Firenze says she realised there was a need for a refill shop after starting a 'zero waste club', where she would bulk buy items and then distribute them to people in the town who wanted to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of rubbish they were throwing away.

The 41-year-old mother-of-two, who lives in St Neots, has set up a Crowdfunding page in a effort to raise funds to help open the shop and keep costs low as she feels that some refill shops can be expensive, and wants to keep costs in line with supermarkets.

Melina said: "I realised that people wanted a zero-waste food shop after setting up the zero-waste club. This has also been a dream in the background, and I just decided that I was going to do it.

"The shop should open in autumn, and the reason for the fundraising page is so I can be competitive with supermarkets, as I don't want the shop to be more expensive. I think people are trying to become more aware about what they use, but it is impossible to buy food from a supermarket without it having lots of plastic packaging."

Melina aims to raise £7,680 towards the cost of opening shop, to help get it going and reduce the costs. So far she has raised more than £1,000.

She said: "Anyone that donates gets a little reward as a thank you, depending on how much they donate. Some donations will get a discount, or an invite to the launch event, whilst bigger donations will get a hamper filled with zero-waste products.

"My husband also makes vegan chocolate, which will be on sale in the shop too."

To donate to the fundraising page visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-refill-shop-in-st-neots.