MORE than 2,500 plastic drinks bottles and cans were used to spell out the environmental message ’Clean Up’ in letters five metres high on Petersfield Heath.

They were collected by more than 60 volunteers from East Petersfield Community Group, Ramshill Residents’ Association, Petersfield Town Council, East Hampshire District Council, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

During the litter pick organised by Beth Svarovska of the Petersfield Society, 112 sacks of rubbish were collected, including 2,567 cans, glass and plastic bottles and drinks cartons.

Petersfield mayor Hilary Ayer said: "It was an outstanding example of voluntary involvement to improve Petersfield as a special place to live, work and visit. Congratulations to all who took part."

Beth added: "The bottlers and cans accounted for about half the litter collected - and this was only four months after our last town-wide clean-up in November."

But the clean-up message on the Heath wasn’t just a plea to stop littering, but also a show of support for a drinks container deposit scheme being considered by the government.

Beth said: "A deposit scheme would encourage those who buy drinks to return the empties, rather than throw them away. "

The results of the litter pick will now be contributed to the deposit scheme consultation run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The society is encouraging residents and environmental groups to take part in the consultation that closes on May 13 and is on the website