PASSERS-BY were surprised to see a new beach hut had sprung up in the middle of the beach.

It is built from 550 “ecobricks” created by schoolchildren across the UK using only non-recyclable plastic waste.

An ecobrick is a plastic bottle which is filled with items such as plastic bags to make them more dense so they can be used as building blocks.

Zoe Lenkiewicz, head of programmes and engagement at UK charity WasteAid, said: “There is no such thing as waste. It’s just resources in the wrong place.”

The beach hut project was set up by the charity in partnership with waste collection company Biffa.

The hut was on Hove beach yesterday and will later be donated to a school.

Ms Lenkiewicz said: “Our aim is to implement sustainable waste management across the world. Currently three billion people don’t have access to safe waste management and this often ends up in informal dump sites.

“A total of 38 of the 50 largest dump sites are coastal and the waste just goes straight into the sea.

“We want to stem this tide by showing people the value in waste materials.”

The organisers placed bags of rubbish that had been collected from Brighton beach that morning in front of the beach hut to show the scale of the problem.

It follows a busy Easter weekend in Brighton during which cleaners picked up more than 11 tonnes of litter from the beach.

A hundred pupils from St Andrew’s Primary School in Brighton were invited to go see the beach hut and hear a talk on the importance of reducing plastic waste.

Mick Davis, a chief operating officer for Biffa, said: “The children were really excited by the beach hut.

“They really wanted to learn about and understand what the issues were surrounding plastic waste.

“Having children come down and take an interest shows that we are planning for the future.”

Mr Davis said Biffa wanted to raise awareness of the importance of WasteAid’s work reducing plastic waste.

He said: “We understand the importance of this work.

“Without it you have rubbish building up all over our streets and nobody wants to live like that.”

WasteAid is raising money to fund its projects across the world. Its Widening The Net programme trains people to sort through waste and re-use it, creating jobs and a “cleaner living environment for future generations”.

WasteAid is fundraising to train 300 unemployed women and children in Cameroon to capture ocean-bound plastic and transform it into useful products like paving tiles.