A LARGS woman is joining the war on waste by opening a unique shop in Largs.

Pioneering Marina Etchells has been inspired to try and do her bit to eliminate the need for unnecessary packaging and plastics finding its way into our oceans.

The former Largs Academy pupil, 36, says the new town centre zero waste shop, to be called Minimal Footprint, will be her contribution to helping the town 'go green'.

Marina said: "It will be the the very first of its kind in Largs and North Ayrshire.

"Minimal Footprint will eliminate the need for unnecessary packaging. You simply bring your own containers, or buy them from the shop, weigh your food and pay by weight. It really is that simple.

"We will be selling an array of dry foods, coffee, tea, beauty and cleaning products - anything we can think of that helps the environment,

"We hope to have a mix of pasta, wholegrain and lentils. There will also be natural shampoos and conditioners, bamboo toothbrushes and hairbrushes.

"It has always been something I have been very passionate and interested in and it's my way of helping the environment.

"With rubbish piling up in landfills, it annoys me when you go into supermarkets and you see the likes of cucumber in cling film. There really is no need for it."

Born in Sydney, Australia, Marina moved to Largs when she was 12 and says the town's seaside location means it is vital it leads the way.

She said: "The amount of waste in the sea is quite scary. The coverage on television, with shows such as Blue Planet, shows what we are up against. It is scary to see shocking images of seals having polythene around their necks and fishes using water bottles as their homes.

"It is really sad that we have got to this stage and I wanted to use my passion and skills so the local community can do its bit."

The shop will stock products with a long life, but hopes to eventually introduce fresh produce. it will be more things with a long life. People will be able to suggest what they would like to see in the shop and if there is enough demand we will see what we can do."

At present there are a couple of zero waste shops in Glasgow but the Largs premises will be a first for North Ayrshire.

People can bring their own containers or use the glass containers to the shop, which can easily be recycled. There will also be biodegradable brown bags for use and environmentally-friendly cotton bags for different products on sale in the shop.

Marina, who has a background in marketing, said: "If you have an old shampoo bottle, or an old detergent bottle, clean it and bring it into the shop so it can be used again. The emphasis will be on recycling but we will have the containers in the shop to help."

Marina told the News that she is in the process of taking over the keys to the Tron Place premises and hopes to be open before Christmas.