SCHOOLCHILDREN are hoping their waste recycling mission will lead to better playtimes as the pens they use are turned in to cash.

Pupils at St Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Littlemoor Road, Weymouth have been collecting used pens in a bid to reduce landfill waste, as part of the BIC Writing Instruments Brigade.

They earn two points in exchange for every pen, marker, highlighter and mechanical pencil they collect and each point is redeemed for 1p.

TerraCycle uses the waste material to make a wide range of products such as folders, pencil cases, shopping bags and notepads.

Teacher and Eco Schools co-ordinator Louise Shepard said: “Since the school joined the Brigade last May, we have collected 813 writing instruments.

“In total we have raised £29.96 through TerraCycle, which the school plans to use towards the purchase of new playground equipment.

“But the real value for the school is how excited the children have become about the amount of writing instruments they can save.

“The scheme enables us to teach the children in a practical way the importance of resource conservation, recycling and upcycling.

“It’s been lovely to see how passionate the children have become about collecting the pens. It is quite inspiring.”

BIC UK marketing manager Yolande de Trogoff said: “The Writing Instruments Brigade is a great opportunity for everyone to help reduce landfill, and it’s really encouraging to see the enthusiasm from the children taking part. “We believe writing and drawing is such a crucial part of kids’ creative development as well as educating them on sorting out waste, which makes partnering on a school initiative really important to us.”

Miss Shepard added that the scheme had been so successful, the school has also joined the Aquafresh Brigade and Activia Yogurt Brigade to recycle toothbrushes and yogurt pots for money.”

Local residents with waste that fits into any of the brigades are asked to take it to the school’s reception. Interested schools, organisations and individuals can sign up to a brigade for free today at