SHOPPERS in Silsden will this month be urged to hand back plastic packaging at the supermarket tills.

Plastic Free Silsden is organising a ‘Mass Unwrap’ at the town’s Aldi as part of a national campaign on Saturday February 29.

The aim is to highlight how much of what people buy is unnecessarily wrapped, and put pressure on supermarkets to help make changes. The campaign is part of the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities campaign.

It is one of several actions being taken by the Silsden group to try to reduce the impact of single-use plastic in the town, including a monthly pop-up refill shop.

Caroline Whitaker, founder and chairman of Plastic Free consulting, said Mass Unwraps were a great way to visually show the sheer scale of plastic packaging.

She said: “Fifty nine billion pieces of plastic packaging are distributed every year, that’s 112,000 pieces every minute.

“Supermarkets, being one of the focal points of a community, are in a unique position to be able to raise awareness of this in a positive way, through these non-confrontational and family friendly awareness events.

“We’d love as many people as possible to come down and join us in helping to publicise the vast problem of supermarket created plastic waste."

The event will be held over a two-hour period, between10am and noon, and in that time shoppers will be able to shop and pay as normal.

Caroline said that when shoppers moved away from the till they could visit a Mass Unwrap volunteer, who would help them take any unnecessary plastic packaging from their purchases and put it in a trolley for recycling or disposal.

Counting up the items as they go, volunteers will be gathering evidence to show the scale of wrapping used.

Caroline added: “Our group has been helping to reduce plastic litter in the town but we really want to see a change to one of the sources of the problem.”

Anyone wishing to take part as a volunteer should email Caroline at

Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities is designed to involve individuals, small businesses, local government and community groups to reduce their collective plastic footprint.