A BUSINESS owner from Ayr is making a conscious effort to become more environmentally friendly and ditch as much plastic as he possibly can.

Lewis Costley, who owns Ocean Stores in the town’s Churchill Tower, has already got rid of plastic milk bottles, in exchange for recyclable glass bottles.

It’s not the first time he’s had his eyes set on reducing his carbon footprint. Back in July, we reported how Lewis was offering residents a free ice lolly or bottle of juice, in exchange for filling a bag of litter from the beach.

Lewis believes, as a business owner, he has a responsibility to do his bit when he can. The move from plastic to glass was something he had always set as an initial target.

He told the Advertiser: “I think looking back on myself in the past, I wasn’t really aware of how much pollution one person can cause.

“Then becoming a shop owner and seeing how much pollution can come from that if you’re not careful then I knew there was something I wanted to do.

“We were going to try and make Ocean Stores ‘Carbon Neutral’. But then we realised, as a small shop, it’s probably not totally viable.

“So we just made changes where we could.

“I think, from our point of view, we’ve got a relatively decent following online.

“So I think we’ve got a responsibility to use our platform wisely and encourage people to do some good.”

It’s not only ditching the plastic milk bottles that has made the store more eco-friendly, the store has ditched other plastics.

Lewis added: “We’ve also stopped stocking fruit and veg that are packaged in plastic, so we now sell that all loose.

“We’ve also got rid of selling morning rolls in plastic bags as well, so we’re doing our bit where we can.

“It’s not easy to totally ditch plastic, but the long-term goal is to get rid of single-use plastic bags as well and look for a replacement for them in the shop.”

Despite being aware that he wanted to reduce his plastic waste a long time ago, Lewis admitted it wasn’t a coincidence that this decision coincided with the COP26 conference.

He added: “I made the decision a long time ago, but this conference has made me even more aware just now and I think a lot of other people are taking notice of what they’re doing because of this. Whether it’s a perfect thing or not is maybe for another day.

“The support we’ve had again from the people around has been overwhelming, and it’s never something we’ll take for granted.”