Plastic challenge for island shoppers

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Media captionSian Sykes wants customers to change shopping behaviour - and avoid excess plastic wrapping

Shoppers are being asked to unwrap excess packaging from supermarkets as part of a campaign to highlight the issue of plastic waste.

Customers at several stores on Anglesey are being roped into the UK-wide "Mass Unwrap" campaign by the group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

On Sunday, visitors to the island's Waitrose store in Menai Bridge were invited to take part.

The firm said it has taken "important steps" to cut unnecessary plastic use.

"Hopefully it is raising awareness and inspiring people to make changes to their day-to-day shopping," said Sian Sykes, Anglesey's SAS ambassador.

According to the environmental group, an estimated 59 billion pieces of plastic wrapping are distributed by UK supermarkets every year.

Much of that is currently not recycled, and ends up as landfill waste.

Image caption Campaigners claim UK supermarkets are responsible for 59 billion pieces of plastic wrapping every year

Ms Sykes, who became the first person to paddleboard around Wales last year to highlight the issue of single-use plastics, said the Unwrap campaign was not just about engaging with shoppers on the day.

"We're counting all the visitors going into the store, and collating the data about all the packaging we are collecting. This will give us really useful information."

Several more supermarkets on the island will be targeted during the week.

Waitrose said it cared "passionately" about reducing the impact of plastics on the environment.

The company said it had already invested £1.5m in initiatives to tackle plastic pollution, and was putting a further £1m into grants targeting the issue.

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