School pupils across Essex have started creating their own eco-friendly playground shops.

More than 40 primary and secondary schools, including those in Harlow, Chelmsford, Colchester and Harwich, have teamed up with Essex County Council and Pupils Profit for the eco-driven initiative.

Children aged nine and above will run ECO Refill shops on a monthly basis, using a provided toolkit to draft a business plan and assign roles such as finance manager.

Louis Boyd, director of learning at The Trinity School in Colchester, said: "Our Year 7, 8 and 9 students are very excited to officially open their ECO Refill shop in the coming weeks.

"Projects like this help teach business skills and environmental awareness in a fun and accessible way. It's providing our students with a way to contribute to our local community."

Reusable refill packs of household products will be sold, with profits to fund further stock.

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education excellence, lifelong Learning and employability, said: "We want all children across Essex to feel more comfortable and confident when working with numbers.

"Initiatives such as these play a crucial role in making children feel at ease with maths."