SUNDERLAND’S LEADING shopping centre is encouraging eco-friendly choices ahead of Earth Day.

The Bridges is highlighting plastic alternatives and reusable products at its retailers to mark Earth Day on 22 April, which started in 1970 to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment.

And shoppers heading to the centre on the day can also pick up a free tote bag, to reduce the number of plastic bags needed on their visit.

Karen Eve, Centre Director, believes everyone has a responsibility to make sustainable choices where they can.

We only have one planet so it’s really important we make the effort to look after it and events like Earth Day are a great motivator to see what eco-friendly options are out there,” she said.

Whether it’s just taking your own bags from home when you go shopping or choosing items that come in sustainable and recyclable packaging there are lots of simple ways we can do our bit to protect the environment.”

The bags will be handed out at the centre on Thursday 22 April and will be available while stocks last.