Street performers used mime to spread the recycling message to Oxford's multicultural community.

Eight mime artists greeted shoppers in Cowley Road with silent performances on Saturday.

Using only a recycling box as a prop, the painted-faced performers attracted attention with their dramatic antics.

The aim of the £4,000 project was to spread the message about recycling to Oxford's non-English speakers.

Mime artist Richard Jones, of Brackley-based performance company Electric Cabaret, said: "It's been great fun. We have been mucking around with people. We are not preaching at people, it's just a fun way to get the message across.

"We carried out antics around the bins, and handed out leaflets.

"It's a non-verbal and non-threatening way of spreading the message.

"We do not take ourselves too seriously - and did it with wry humour.

"Hopefully, the more antics we get up to, the more people might talk about it in the pub later on. It's just getting people to smile and be positive."

The mime artists dished out hundreds of leaflets, in 15 different languages, during their six-hour stint.

Eileen Robinson, Oxford City Council's environmental projects officer, organised the event and was there to watch.

She said: "It was to target the non-English speaking population. Some of them live in areas of quite low participation.

"We felt it would be good to do something a bit more fun and entertaining and something that would just grab people's attention.

"Really we are just going for the fun factor, to make people stop and think.

"Just watching people's reactions was just brilliant.

"Everyone was just laughing and smiling. We did not want to be engaging too heavily with people - we wanted it to be fun and very easy to understand."

She added the project was paid for using a £4,000 grant from Banbury-based recycling organisation Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).

Passer-by Oliver Brown, 20, a student from Cowley Road, said: "It's more interesting than people just handing you a flyer.

"I will probably learn something when I go home and read the leaflet.

"It's a really good idea."

But fellow student George Findlay, 20, from St Clement's, said it would take more than a few mime artists to get people recycling.

He said: "In student houses, it's quite bad. I live in a house with nine people and the rubbish just piles up and we have about 20 sacks outside on the street.

"I think this is good. It catches your attention, but I don't know how you are going to sort that out, because it's about lazy people.

"Every little helps and it's going to make some people realise."