What you need to know

Changing the world one bread tag at a time

bottle-caps

A 16-year-old from our Young People’s Committee has brought a clever initiative to Council.

Adele Roeder has started collecting bread tags to help buy wheelchairs for people in South Africa and plastic lids to make prosthetic limbs, and we’re supporting her with the initiative by placing collection jars at our Civic Centre.

Moonee Valley Mayor Cr Samantha Byrne said Council was happy to support initiatives that encouraged sustainability.

“Our Young People’s Committee is made up of an incredible group of talented young people who advise Council on a range of issues affecting local young people and it’s exciting to think about what the future will bring with them at our helm,” Cr Byrne said.

“We always encourage residents where possible to avoid, reduce or reuse, and then recycle, and we have a number of initiatives to make this easy for people, such as a free, permanent TechCollect e-waste drop off point at the Transfer Station and Specialty Recycling Stations at our Avondale Heights, Niddrie and Sam Merrifield Libraries.”

Adele first found out about the initiative through her dad, and immediately started a small collection of her household’s bread tags and bottle caps.

“I had already started recycling soft plastics through REDcycle and I was unaware of any places that I could recycle small hard plastics that are a serious environmental problem when they accumulate,” Adele said.

The St Columba’s College student from Essendon then brought the initiative to us through her work on the Young People’s Committee to allow a space for Council staff and Moonee Valley residents to drop off their bread tags and plastic lids.

“I have always had a love for the environment and I have grown increasingly concerned about the detrimental impact humanity’s actions are having on its wellbeing. Recently in my Geography class I learned that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Earth’s oceans each year,” Adele said.

“Plastic pollution can not only ruin the aesthetic appeal of natural environments but it can also be harmful to marine animals, ecosystems and it can accumulate in large masses called ocean gyres which can actually disrupt the carbon cycle where carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, mediating our climate.

“By reusing the plastic materials we can improve the lives of people with disabilities, in particular those who do not have easy access to life enhancing equipment such as wheelchairs and prosthetics.”

While plastic lids and bottle caps can be recycled in your yellow-lid bin (plastic bottles and jars should be squashed and the lids kept on), bread tags are highly problematic and can’t be recycled as they can slip through the cracks of the machinery, and often end up in landfill.

“This is an initiative that everyone in the community can contribute to and it has multiple benefits such as reducing the plastic that we send to landfill and being able to indirectly help people who are disadvantaged,” Adele said.

“The collection also connects our Council to the wider global community by helping people from other areas of the world and reducing our area’s footprint on the environment.”

Collection jars have been placed at the Civic Centre front desk, 9 Kellaway Ave, Moonee Ponds.

Council’s Valley Youth team has recently set up a Climate Action Group where young people can share their ideas about what we can do to care for the environment in Moonee Valley. If you’re aged 12-25 and want to take control of the future then this is a great opportunity to get involved and positively impact our community.