CRUMPLING up an empty crisp packet and chucking it in the bin won’t be something you’ll witness children in Innerleithen doing.

Instead pupils from St Ronan’s Primary School are dumping their trash in the school. But it’s not because they’re litter louts!

The young eco-warriors are recycling their empty crisp bags with waste management company TerraCycle, and they are making their school and community garden a packet.

Shirley Spence from the Edible Community Garden explained how the pupils are making money from rubbish.

“I was discussing with the steering group of the Edible Garden about how to raise funds for the garden and suggested looking into recycling.

“We have a volunteer at the Edible Garden who has taught the children how to recycle crisp packets into plant holders.

“I researched recycling companies and found TerraCycle. They recycle non-recyclable waste which diverts millions of pounds of waste from landfill and incinerators. They give points as rewards which are exchanged for cash to go back to the people who send stuff to be recycled.”

Not only are the pupils going green and waging a war on plastic, their rubbish is creating watering cans, ping pong tables, planters, picnic tables and even playground equipment.

Shirley added: “I spoke with the headteacher Keith Belleville at the school about recycling crisp packets and the proceeds would go to the Edible Garden and the school. We discussed further recycling opportunities I had applied for and he agreed it was a great idea and we should go ahead. It would also teach the children how to reduce their carbon footprint and stop non-recyclable waste going to landfill.”

As well as crisp packets, there are other recycling projects in the pipeline, and children will be bringing in their old toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes, as well as hair product packaging and other food packaging.

The school is now collecting for Burt's Bees and has a recycling station for make-up, including empty lipsticks, lipsalve, mascara tubes and wands, eyeshadow palettes, make-up wipe packets and empty product tubes.

Two primary five pupils, passionate about reducing plastic waste in their school, were appointed as recycling ambassadors last month.

Emma Humphreys and Sophie Cotter are actively encouraging other children to put their waste in the appropriate bins.

Shirley addressed the school assembly to talk about recycling and said she was “very encouraged” to witness seven children come back into the hall to put their crisp packets in the recycling box.

“The children at the school are very enthusiastic about recycling and reducing waste and their carbon footprints. They already have an Eco Group in school. Food waste from the nursery and school gets taken to the Edible Garden for composting,” added Shirley.

Headteacher Keith Belleville said the school is delighted to be working with the Edible Garden group to collect a whole host of recyclates in school.

“The children have responded so well to the initiative and I’m sure that our recycling activities will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also encourage good habits in our children and families by providing the facilities to collect and recycle.”

And the community can become part of the green machine. Boxes are placed in St Ronan's Youth and Community Centre and Katie Charters No.6 Hair Design, for members of the public to deposit their recycling in.