A FORMER teacher has opened a plastic free shop to encourage people to think about the harm plastic is doing to the world.

Claire Plowes from Simonstone in Ribble Valley opened a new shop called Turtle Bee in Great Harwood on Friday 30, because she wants to give the people in the town somewhere to go for plastic free items.

The new shop sells a variety of household and beauty items such as recycled toilet roll, natural soaps for skin and hair, bamboo toothbrushes, and laundry detergents.

Customers can also refill on food products such as cereals and nuts.

The married mum of three, said: “I wanted to shop this way after I did some normal supermarket shopping, and looked at the amount of plastic I had in just one shop.

“I had the idea for a while and thought this would give people in the town an idea of what they can buy to replace plastic things in their homes.”

With children of her own, the ex-primary school teacher was keen on showing nine-year-old Euan, eight-year-old Florence and six-year-old Franklin about the importance of reducing plastic.

She said: “They are really excited because they learn about things like this at school then come home and talk about it.

“I want families to come in with children helping out with things like weighing the nuts and refilling jars.”

Mrs Plowes posted her idea for the shop on Facebook first, unsure of what the reaction from the community would be.

She said: “People who are hearing about it online are telling me it is a great idea, and I also had messages from local businesses saying they would all be coming in to get snacks and show support.

“People were interested in having a plastic free shop, even giving me suggestions, which is how I’ve decided to stock the shop, based on what I and other people want to buy.”

Mrs Plowes was a primary school teacher until 2016, when she took a career change and worked for a Gin Company in Burnley.

Eventually, the new shop owner plans to increase her variety with things like sugar and flour, and maybe even chocolate.