They are a tiny household item that can cause a very big problem for our environment. But, thanks to the Blackfriars community, more than 4000 plastic bread tags have now been diverted from landfill.
As part of our Greenfriars initiative, Blackfriars this year signed up to be part of the Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs program. Since then, more than 4000 plastic bread tags have been left in the school’s recycling boxes.
The Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs team recycles the tags locally, raising funds to buy wheelchairs for disadvantaged people, mainly in South Africa. Since the charity’s inception, it has funded 80 wheelchairs.
“It’s been great to see the Blackfriars community getting behind this scheme,” Greenfriars Coordinator and Year 5/6 teacher Trent Allwood said.
“But in the four years since Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs was started, nearly 11 tonnes of plastic bread tags in Australia have been diverted from landfill. Currently, about 250kg of tags are being recycled every month.”
Blackfriars families are asked to bring in any collections of bread tags before the end of Term 4. The recycling initiative will continue in 2024.
Battery recycling introduced
Meanwhile, Blackfriars has also rolled out battery recycling boxes across the school. Families are encouraged to place as many used batteries as possible in resealable plastic bags, which can then be placed in designated boxes throughout the school.
“Batteries contain a range of metals, including lead, mercury and lithium, which can be hazardous to the environment when disposed of in general household waste bins,” Mr Allwood said.
“Having battery recycling available at school is just another way we can encourage our students and families to stop and think before they throw something in the bin. Through Greenfriars, we want all members of the Blackfriars community to become stewards of the environment.”
National Recycling Week
This week is Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week, exploring the idea that “what goes around comes around”.
“This year, Planet Ark is asking Australians to pause and think about what they are currently sending to landfill and ask whether it is waste after all,” Planet Ark CEO Rebecca Gilling said.
“We have come a long way since National Recycling Week was established in 1996, but there is still more we could be doing to ensure valuable resources don’t end up wasted in landfill, especially when it comes to food waste and recycling our packaging.”
National Recycling Week was founded in 1996 as an opportunity for Australians to take waste and recycling into their own hands by improving their recycling knowledge and building better recycling habits. Since then, the annual recycling rate in Australia has increased from just 7 per cent of all disposed materials to more than 60 per cent.