A SOUTHAMPTON boy is on a mission to beat plastic pollution.

Charlie Cross from Bitterne Park has been clearing litter in Riverside Park for four months to keep the park from "looking like a dump", according to his grandmother.

Now the seven-year-old is looking to set up his own committee at Bitterne Park Primary School, called Charlie's Planet Pickers, in a bid to save marine life from plastic.

Charlie's mum, Louise Drever, said: "He is very socially aware and today he had three of his friends helping him pick litter at his school. We are really proud of him and I think he does worry what will happen to the world when he is grown up."

Charlie's grandmother, Carol Drever, said: "Every time we went to the park Charlie would say how awful it was that there were so many plastic bottles. Charlie is very passionate about the environment and he is quite a well-known figure around the area.

"He has probably collected around 15 to 20 sacks in the past four months. I think he is partly influenced by me saying 'look at all of this plastic' in the park and from what he learns about plastic particles in water at school."

"He does not like to see fish and turtles suffering because of the plastic and we have many conversations about the issue. He is quite switched on about the subject and he talks about it all the time."

The youngster picks up litter every day on his way to Bitterne Park Primary School and during the weekend when he is walking the dog with his family.

Charlie added: "Most of the fish we eat has plastic in it because the fish have eaten the plastic in the water, which can give people cancer."

The most common pieces of rubbish Charlie finds on his clean ups are plastic Coca Cola bottles, empty Doritos and Haribos packets.

Other items Charlie finds in Riverside Park are cigarette ends and baby wipes.

Louise said: "We believe he will have an impact in the future and will do something amazing."