6 Aug 2019

Plastic made fantastic

You may notice some collection points popping up at local Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia calling for plastic bottle tops and bread tags over the coming weeks. The project aims to breathe new life into often discarded pieces of plastic that may be repurposed for those in need.

Sitting down with educators at Early Learning Centre Maddingley, we had a chat about the initiative, and how these little pieces of plastic are changing lives while also educating children.


At Lifelong Learning Centres we focus on creating a Healthy World. Our educators understand the need for children to learn about social responsibility, conservation, environmental issues, sustainability and the role we can all play in these areas. Your children are the future and we believe it’s never too early for them to understand the role they can play in contributing to a Healthy World. 

Our centres also place great importance on Healthy Community programs that focus on building community belonging, contribution and longevity. We believe it is important to introduce community concepts to children at an early age, to develop an understanding of a team environment, giving back to the community, creating a sense of belonging for all and contributing to the longevity of the local community.

It’s these two program principles that led Early Learning Centre Maddingley, and many other centres within our Lifelong Learning Centres network to start the plastic collection points. 

“The bottle tops go towards helping create prosthetic limbs for children in need through the organization Envision Hands and the bread tags go towards helping make wheelchairs for people in need through the organisation Bread Tags for Australia,” says Centre Manager Tayla Anderson

“We have had many families involved in this and the children are excited to bring in their collections at home!”

Envision Hands is a not-for-profit community initiative that uses 3D printing to turn plastic waste into mechanical hands and arms for children with the products being sent all around the world. The recycled bottle tops will be turned into prosthetic hands using a 3D printing blueprint available online for anyone to use. The patterns are unique and colourful, designed to make children feel confident and empowered. 

While Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs collects bread tags that will then be recycled to fund wheelchairs in South Africa. Due to the High Impact Polystyrene the tags are made of they have a high recycling value overseas. In 2006 Mary Honeybun founded the Breadtags for Wheelchairs organisation to use the money from recycling efforts to fund wheelchairs for children and adults. It takes 200 bread bags full of tags that are then packed into 10 black bags, or 200kg of tags to bring in enough money for one wheelchair. The organisation manages to fund a whopping two-three wheelchairs around South Africa every month!

We love learning more about our Healthy Children programs and seeing how they can bring learning to life for the benefit of the world. 

To find out how you can get involved or to get any information on what your local centre is doing call 1800 CHILDCARE.

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Supporting families in response to COVID-19 Coronavirus

Updated 14 July 2020: Across Australia, our child care centres remain open and operating in line with our COVID-19 Step Down Plan and have implemented extensive health and hygiene practices.