An empty former police station has been transformed into a pop-up shop selling food thrown away by retailers - at a price customers decide. 

Charity the Best Before Project (BBP) has teamed up with the Forest Recycling Project to take over part of the building in Kirkdale Road, Leytonstone. 

They have collected tonnes of food items from suppliers, which are beyond their best before date. 

BBP founder Voytek Stando, 48, was working in the food distribution industry when he became aware of the amount of produce being thrown away. 

He said: “It is complete nonsense to me that there are people starving or using food banks when there are tonnes of perfectly good food being thrown out. 

“People can come in and choose the products for themselves. If they feel they need to pay, they do.  

"They pay exactly what they feel, nothing has a price tag.” 

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Most foods on offer at the pop-up shop will be passed their best before date and customers need only make a donation for them

The Leytonstone shop is the first retail outlet the charity has opened since it started in April 2011. 

Before now it has been distributing food which has passed its shelf life through other charities. 

Business rates for the former police station have been reduced by 80 per cent as it is currently classed as an empty space. 

The space was secured through charity ATOP, which helps organisations take over buildings which are out of use. 

In the first few weeks the shop will be open three days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am until 6pm. 

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Former police station taken over by charities' pop-up shop

Mr Stando said the goods may be past their shelf life, but are perfectly good to eat and he hopes “environmentally aware” residents of the borough will support the cause.

He said: “Independent on the individual status of anyone willing to use our products.

“A vast majority of offered foods will be past the ‘best before’ date. Our initiative, apart from providing people with affordable products, will have a strong educational character, showing in practice that this sort of mark on the label is not an expiry date, only an indicator of possible quality.

“Eating past ‘best before’ foods is absolutely safe and distribution is legal.”

The project will stay in Kirkdale Road for two months.