CUSTOMERS gave back their plastic packaged items to shops in a bid to show how much plastic is being wasted.

Supermarkets Co-op and Lidl took part in 'Mass Unwrap' on March 9, a project aimed to highlight how much plastic is being used in wrapping items in shops.

Plastic Free Crowthorne and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) helped inform shoppers on how they can reduce single use plastic.

Donna Mischefski, lead volunteer at the event, said: "It was a fantastic opportunity to work with the supermarkets to highlight the plastic waste and it was really encouraging to hear that fellow shoppers are equally concerned over the issue. They too want to see change."

After customers paid at the tills, they were invited to a Mass Unwrap volunteer who helped them remove the plastic packaging and offer them a paper bag.

Produce bags were also handed out, handmade by a volunteer from old net curtains sourced from two Crowthorne charity shops - Thames Hospice and Coats.

In total, 91 shoppers participated in the event across the two supermarkets and 374 pieces of plastic was given back to the shops to be recycled.

The environmentalists add from just 90 minutes of being at the supermarkets, nearly 20,000 pieces of plastic were collected, which is enough to fill an entire village.

Surfers Against Sewage held the national unwrap event from March 3 to 10 after its successful Earth Day Mass Unwrap in 2018.

Studies show that 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging are distributed every year, which equates to 112 thousand pieces every minute.