SCHOOLS, community groups and litter pickers from across Wyre Forest have filled more than 500 bottles with plastic waste to be used in building projects or made into furniture.

Local littler picking group The Pickup Artists launched the community challenge in October in an effort to raise awareness of the amount of plastic waste being brought into people's homes with their weekly food shops.

To the group's surprise, the challenge went viral on Facebook, attracting the support of local schools, scout groups and businesses.

KD9, the 9th Wyre Forest Scout Group, used the challenge as an opportunity to achieve an environmental badge, and Kidderminster's Standard Motor Transport volunteered to drive the donated bricks to Eco-Freaks Emporium in Gosport to be upcycled into furniture or used for community building projects.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Karen Blanchfield, Stourport leader for The Pickup Artists, said: "The goal was always to build awareness of just how much plastic waste people are buying in their individual weekly shop, how not all plastics can be recycled and how this plastic ends up in landfill, rivers and nature reserves.

"I'm a family-of-five and I was filling two black bins and two green bins every fortnight. Now I only fill a quarter of a bin because I'm not buying plastic in the first place. I take my own carrier bags, bake instead of buying snacks and I take my own containers to the butchers.

"The response has been amazing. It's really brought the communities in Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley together and I think people are starting to think about what they're buying."

Charlie Casey-Blundell, from St Michael's Scout Troop, was awarded his own high-vis jacket for making the largest donation after he took the challenge to his school and collected a whopping 136 eco-bricks.

As a thank you to sponsors, volunteers carried out a litter pick at Gemini Industrial Estate and surrounding roads on Saturday, filling 32 black bags with rubbish.