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See inside zero waste shop waging war on 'mindless packaging' - with washable sanitary towels and cardboard deodorants

PUBLISHED: 11:30 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 16 February 2019

Catherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Catherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Most shops you go to are full of products made of plastic and wrapped in...yet more plastic.

But now one eco-friendly shop is waging war on consumer habits, shunning unnecessary packaging to help shoppers embrace a greener lifestyle.

The new Clear to Sea store in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds even offers washable sanitary towels and cardboard deodorants in its bid to bring about positive environmental change.

Customers are also able to buy as much or as little of products as they want, with one customer even buying just two teaspoons of spice on one occasion because that was all she needed.

Reusable sanitary towels are one of the shops most popular products.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNReusable sanitary towels are one of the shops most popular products. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Owner and former primary school teacher Catherine Winn said she made the decision last summer to open the store “after seeing the horrendous images of whales and turtles and the impact our misuse of plastic is having on the environment”.

She added: “The support I’ve received from the town and the surrounding areas has been absolutely amazing, and completely overwhelming – people just haven’t stopped coming.

“I’ve had complete strangers bringing me flowers and a number of young girls have said they’ve wanted something like this for ages. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life – it feels amazing to be appreciated in this way.

Catherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds waging the war on the misuse of plastics. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCatherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds waging the war on the misuse of plastics. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The other day one woman came in and bought just two teaspoons of spice because that was all she needed. This is what my store is all about, being conscious about what we buy and not buying or disposing of unnecessary food.”

The reusable and washable sanitary towels have proved to be incredibly popular with all ages, according to Mrs Winn - who has filled her shop with local products which all have a story.

For every three sanitary towels that are bought, one pad is donated to a female in Africa. Meanwhile for every sale of one of the water bottles, £1 is donated to a water project in a third world country.

Produce for sale in Clear to Sea include a number of wholegrain cereals and pulses.  Picture: SAR AH LUCY BROWNProduce for sale in Clear to Sea include a number of wholegrain cereals and pulses. Picture: SAR AH LUCY BROWN

The shop is filled with lots of vegan products and eco-friendly alternatives – with vegan soaps from a business in Ipswich, face wipes from Bury St Edmunds, and a number of ethical soaps and deodorants from Cambridge.

Mrs Winn added: “Social media has highlighted what we’ve been doing to our world and I thought gosh I’ve got to do something.

“Sadly my changes are not going to save the world alone - everyone must do their bit.”

Catherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds  at the age of 63. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCatherine Winn has opened a completely plastic free shop in Bury St Edmunds at the age of 63. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Find out more by visiting its Facebook page.

Natural toothpaste is on sale in Clear to Sea.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNatural toothpaste is on sale in Clear to Sea. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Natural deodorant comes in metal tins and cardboard tubes.    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNatural deodorant comes in metal tins and cardboard tubes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Natural toothpaste tablets can also be purchased in the zero waste store.    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNatural toothpaste tablets can also be purchased in the zero waste store. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Environmentally friendly toilet roll in the eco-friendly store in Bury St Edmunds.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEnvironmentally friendly toilet roll in the eco-friendly store in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Natural deodorant in the cardboard packaging. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNatural deodorant in the cardboard packaging. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Reusable sanitary towels come in a range of colours and patterns.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNReusable sanitary towels come in a range of colours and patterns. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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