Plastic Police - Newcastle kids protecting their environment!

To kick off National Recycling week, Biddabah Public School will be first to see the rewards of their Plastic Police project, which has transformed their own scrunchy plastic into furniture and will be unveiled at a special assembly on Monday 7 November at 11.30am.

Soft plastics can be recycled into items like furniture or playground equipment

So far, the kids have averted one tonne of soft plastic from landfill and next week they will receive the first of their new recycled playground furniture.

Samantha Cross, founder of Plastic Police, said the Plastic Police Partnership model ensures kids have their eyes on a goal, effectively putting a bounty on soft plastics by returning a direct reward to the collecting community.

“Each week for the last year children have brought their soft plastic collections to school, together averaging 94 kilos every month. Their collection has now been converted to 100 per cent recycled plastic playground furniture for the school,” said Samantha Cross.

“The motivated youngsters are really keen contributors to the project and have even been encouraging their parents to bring workplace ‘rubbish’- in the form of clean soft plastic wrappings - home for them to take to school.

“To think one day it is just garbage and the next it is something you can play on or use is pretty inspirational for children to see.”

This world-first technology, Newtecpoly, uses up to 50 per cent less energy than other technologies used for extruding plastic products.

Ian Hunter, Deputy Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) said the project was only possible because of the successful collaboration between Plastic Police Partnerships and Newtecpoly, which brings together clever engagement strategies and emerging technologies to help communities find value in wasted resources.

“This is a fantastic example of kids using their learnings to educate their parents and taking an active role in determining their own future, we need more projects like this,” said Mr Hunter.

“A further project engaging local council, schools and businesses will soon start in the Hunter region demonstrating that the Plastic Police Partnership model can be scaled for regional delivery.

Mr Hunter said the program offers a number of programs for communities and organisations to help drive positive change, build resilience and protect the environment.

“This Plastic Police Partnership pilot has captured the imagination of the children, their teachers and their families,” he said.

Contact: Angela Read