THE discovery of a decades-old Lucozade bottle has kickstarted a conversation around recycling.

Kimberley Bullock, of Springfield, Darlington, discovered a pristine glass Lucozade bottle in a ditch on Burtree Lane.

The mum-of-two began litter picking with her sons during the first lockdown but has been going at it alone since schools reopened.

Originally believing the bottle was from the 1980s, the 31-year-old shared an image on social media with a powerful message to stop littering. There was then further speculation the bottle was actually from the decade before.

Mrs Bullock, who was furloughed since November, said: "It was about bringing the boys up right and teaching them not to litter.

"It can't all just be blown into the ditches, it must be from cars passing by.

"Some people just have no respect for the planet. Another lady actually had a coffee cup thrown out at her from a car while she was on a little pick.

"People see it as a challenge to mess the road up when we've just cleaned it. It's soul-destroying when we've already done around 150 bags of litter from there."

Lucozade confirmed the bottle was produced and distributed in the 1990s.

A Lucozade Sport spokesperson said: "The bottle is from the late '90s. It's a good reminder, coming just after we celebrated Global Recycling Day last week, that used drinks containers have no place other than in a recycling bin.

"We applaud the work of local litter pickers who are helping to get the bottle recycled now and we will continue to use our marketing platforms to encourage people to recycle."

Lucozade has a rich history within the North-East, with it being created by a Newcastle chemist William Walker Hunter in 1927.

For 11 years, Mr Hunter's formula was a North-East secret until Beecham's bought the chemist out.

Some 24-hours after the previous pick where she found the bottle, Mrs Bullock returned to Burtree Lane to discover another littered roadside.

The mum found a Coke can she believes is from 2000 and has previously found sex toy packaging.