Throughout February and March, students and staff at Christ the King School, Graceville are on a mission. Their aim is to collect enough plastic bread tags to raise the necessary funds to provide a wheelchair for someone in need in South Africa.
The bread tags are being collected as part of the Bread Tags for Wheelchairs initiative across Australia. It is the third year students and staff at Christ the King School have been involved, with more than 10kg-worth of plastic bread takes being redirected from landfill.
The bread tags are sold to a plastic recycling company in South Australia, which turns them into items such as seedling trays, door knobs, coat hangers, floor tiles and picture frames. The funds raised go towards purchasing wheelchairs for those who may not be able to afford or access them. It takes 200kg of bread tags to fund a wheelchair.
The Bread Tags for Wheelchairs concept originally began in South Africa in 2006, by Mary Honeybun. She had retired from nursing but still wanted to help others. As an environmental advocate, Mrs Honeybun knew a lot of people in South Africa were in desperate need of wheelchairs and did not have the funds available to buy their own. She came up with the idea of individuals and organisations collecting bread tags and selling them to recyclers.
The money raised pays for wheelchairs for disadvantaged people in South Africa.
In 2018, South Australian woman Jenny Cooper established the national collection network and created the Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs Facebook page.
In Australia, Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs collects thousands of plastic tags from around Australia, which would otherwise end up in landfill.
The response since its inception has been overwhelming.
There are more than 460 collection points Australia-wide, and more than 24,000 followers on Facebook. More than 200kg of plastic bread tags are recycled every month.
Christ the King School became involved with the program after tuckshop convenor Kim Lyons stumbled across the initiative.
The school has a sustainability subcommittee on its P&F Association, so it is also a good community initiative to get everyone involved and prevent these plastics from going to landfill.
The idea has quickly gained momentum, with competition between classes and across year levels.
Each class has a collection container and students are happy to support an initiative that not only promotes recycling, but also supports people in need at the same time.
As a Bread Tags for Wheelchairs collection point, Christ the King School welcomes donations from local businesses and community groups. For more information about the Christ the King School's Bread Tags for Wheelchairs involvement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.