Green-friendly pupils at a Sunderland primary school braved the elements to help keep the city’s coast free of plastic rubbish.
Youngsters from Dame Dorothy Primary School in Monkwearmouth took time away from the classroom amid wet and cold weather to litter pick at Roker Beach.
The event was part of a beach recycling scheme which aims to keep Roker and Seaburn beaches free of plastic bottles and other rigid plastic.
The city council signed up to be part of a initiative last May, with two special collection TerraCycle plastic recycling containers located in Seaburn and Roker.
Now the scheme is to be extended to provide three crates at Roker and two in Seaburn.
The move comes after the Echo’s Clean Streets campaign for a cleaner Sunderland began at the start of this year.
Councillors Michael Mordey, Barry Curran and Julia Jackson were present alongside Tom Parkin, who along with wife runs Sue’s Cafe on the seafront.
Coun Mordey said: “There’s been a huge increase in the amount of plastic produced over the last 50 years with a 20 fold increase worldwide.
“You only have to walk along the seafront to see the impact that’s having on our beaches.
“As of February 2017, we have a zero tolerance approach to littering.
“As a council due to the cuts we have suffered, we have tried to protect ourselves but we simply have not got the resource that we once had.
“We are asking the residents of Sunderland to support us in keeping the city tidy.
“We all want Sunderland to prosper and this is not just a local problem, it is an international issue.
“If we can get children involved in not dropping litter when they are young it should not be as much of a problem in the future.”
Mr Parkin, whose cafe is at Marine Walk on the seafront, said: “We’ve had children from Dame Dorothy down for the past five years and it’s always good to get them involved.
“They’ve planted trees and helped with keeping the place clean, which is great for the community.”
As thanks for their efforts, pupils were handed medals as well as cakes and drinks from Mr and Mrs Parkin.
Helen Horn, class teacher at Dame Dorothy, said: “The children have been really looking forward to coming down so it’s a shame about the weather.
“We’ve had discussions about how we can keep our city tidy and more environmentally safe for everyone.
“We go around the local area picking litter every October time and the children really take pride in their community.”