YOUNG people who ran a pop-up shop in Porlock to encourage people to avoid single use plastic have aroused interest across Somerset.

The 12- to 16-years-olds behind the While We Still Can shop filled it with 350 single use plastic items, giving one to each customer making a pledge.

All 350 were taken away and a further 19 pledges were made by Saturday (December 9), late night shopping day.

They were cheered by locals and serenaded by West Somerset Brass Band as they outfits to join the Santa Dash through the village.

Lenny, 15, said: “It’s been an incredible journey. We didn’t know if our 350 target was achievable, representing just over half the households in Porlock, but we’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received from near and far.

READ MORE: Pop-up shop opens in Porlock.

"Once the word got out, the shop attracted not just locals, but visitors from Minehead, Bristol and even London."

Ethan, 15, said: “Popular pledges included promises to take items to repair cafes, visiting Our Precious Earth, a zero-waste shop in Minehead, and switching from throw-away coffee cups to reusable ones, which account for only 2 per cent of sales in the UK.”

Inspired by the group, a Cornish manufacturer gifted 250 reusable cups to make The Big Cheese coffee shop plastic free for the duration of the project.

Initially supported by Stacked Wonky, a Porlock based arts organisation, and Somerset Wildlife Trust, the group attracted new partners, including Plastic Free Exmoor, Good Vibe Veg and Our Precious Earth, each offering equipment, sustainable products and expertise to help the shop become a fascinating mixture of information and objects. Two gardeners donated wheelbarrows full of plants to replace the plastic.

Sarah Shorten, Stacked Wonky’s artistic director, said: "The project has been a joyful learning experience exceeding everyone’s expectations.

"Clearly, young people are powerful influencers when it comes to the environment and they created a welcoming 'talking place' for people of all ages where similarities and differences could be sensitively discussed.”

Mark Ward, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Coast project manager says: “With another year of funding for this group, we’re looking forward to seeing the shop being replicated given interest from other towns, as well as bright, new ideas propelled by the young people. They are inspirational and true ambassadors for change.”