THEY were previously a blight on coastlines around Scotland.

But now hundreds of items of plastic waste transformed into works of art make up a part of a major exhibition at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre.

Plastic Beach and Coastal Collection, by the late Scottish artist Robert Callender, are both composed of 500 objects, including shoes, cups and stoppers, which were thrown from land or boats into the sea.

By the time Callender created Plastic Beach in the early to mid-2000s, every object used was plastic-based, making him one of the first artists to capture the scale of the environmental disaster afflicting the world’s oceans.

READ MORE: "Mountain" of plastic waste removed from remote Scottish island

The City Art Centre exhibition, which is called Plastic Beach and opens on Saturday, is the first large-scale display of his work since he died in 2011.

Details of the exhibition were revealed as two boatloads of plastic waste were removed from a remote Scottish island which is home to thousands of seabirds.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) said volunteers had cleared a “mountain” of rubbish from Handa Island, Sutherland.

Among the large haul collected by volunteers were ropes, buoys and plastic items which could be traced to Canada, Ireland and Spain.