A NEW eco-friendly shop opened in Hexham this week.

The Refill Station, which can be found on Market Place, opened its doors for the first time on Monday.

The shop, which is operated by Annie Docwra and her partner David Pass, aims to eliminate the need for single use plastics.

Customers can come in and fill their container with a range of products normally found in a plastic container.

The couple moved to the area seven years ago, and have a passion for the environment.

Annie explained: “We moved to Falstone because David got a job at the Calvert Trust in Kielder.

“He’s been an outdoor instructor since he was 16. He can see all the pollution, such as when he’s kayaking and he sees the plastic in the canals.

“At Kielder, in the tourism season, there’s a lot of waste left and some blows out of bins.

“Opening a business is something David has wanted to do for years. We go to Nil Living in the Grainger Market in Newcastle, which is a similar set-up to what we are.

“There seems to be a boom in people trying to be more eco-conscious so we thought we would try and bring it to Hexham.

“People can come in, bringing their own container or we have paper bags and jars for they can buy.

“We have a lot of dry food like pasta, nuts and seeds, things like that and a range of cleaning refill, so it eliminates the single use plastic and people can buy as much or as little as they want.”

Setting up the business hasn’t been plain sailing, however, due to the coronavirus crisis.

David left his job in March, just before the lockdown began, meaning the couple had no choice but to get things up and running.

Annie added: “We had to keep going or we would have been in a tricky situation, but we took it in our stride.”

Only one person is allowed in the shop at a time for now, while hand gel is available in store.