THE owner of Largs’ first zero-waste shop says her first few weeks in business have been a 'huge success' as the town looks to bounce out of lockdown.

Marina Etchells, who has taken her first step into business with Minimal Footprint, had been due to open at the start of the year but was thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

With her first few weeks of business under her belt, Marina says the feedback and loyalty from her new customers has been heartening.

She said: “I’ve had lots of local support and lots of regulars already.

“I’ve had people come from Inverkip, Beith and even Greenock to do big shops, which has been encouraging.

“We’ve had a lot of great feedback on the quality of our products, especially our detergent and conditioner."

The purpose of the shop is to cut down on unnecessary waste such as food packaging and single use plastics and Marina is glad that customers are quickly understanding their ethos.

She said: “At first people only came in to look and said that they would come back once their produce had run out at home.

“Now people are coming back a few weeks later and they are refilling with our products. People are waiting to finish things in the cupboards and then coming down.

“We have brown bags for people to use which are recyclable. People are really grasping the concept of the shop."

Marina says she hopes this could be the start of a 'green revolution' in Largs.

She said: “We’ve had a lot of people come in and say it’s nice to see something a bit different and that it’s great for the town.

“Largs is working to be more environmentally friendly, which we are of course going to try and be a part of.

“The mix of generations that are shopping here is great. A lot of older customers remember this way of shopping and it brings back some nice memories.

“Minimal Footprint is just something different for Largs and for North Ayrshire.”

With new coronavirus regulations in place, Marina says running a business has been a lot different to what she was expecting.

She said: “Simple things take a lot more time and thought.

“We’re only having two households at one time in the shop, with stickers to remind people of social distancing.

“I also spray all the containers and scoops with a food friendly anti-bac as soon as people leave to make sure everything is safe.”

With Largs gradually opening up following lockdown, Marina has seen an increase in the number of tourists in the shop - with some even asking her to set up Minimal Footprint in their own towns and cities.

She said: “There are people coming from further afield for their shopping anyway but now there’s a few more tourists popping in as well.

“The town is getting busier all the time, which is really encouraging to see.

“I've even had people in from Glasgow saying that they’d like a shop like this closer to where they live."

You can find Minimal Footprint in the town’s Tron Place, with the shop open from Tuesday to Saturday during the day.