What’s your plastic pollution solution?

23 July 2018

Plastic pollution solution
Aloise Hain 8, Ben Hain 6 and Imogen Hain 5, getting ready for the Regional Recycler Competition.

Moreton Bay Regional Council has launched its Regional Recycler Competition for 2018, with the theme ‘Plastic Pollution Solution’.

With $4,000 in prize money up for grabs, schools and early learning centres (ELCs) across the region are being encouraged to put their recycling thinking caps on and develop a solution for eliminating plastic items from their rubbish bins.

To enter, schools and ELCs will need to choose one type of plastic in their waste stream and develop a solution for eliminating it from their rubbish bins.

Council’s Waste Services Spokesperson, Councillor Adam Hain said council’s annual Regional Recycler Competition was about getting kids thinking outside the box when it came to recycling and reusing.

“Kids can reduce, recycle or reuse items at both school and at home, and the Regional Recycler Competition is a fantastic tool to encourage kids to think about sustainability in a fun and interactive way at a very young age,” Cr Hain said.

“As part of this 2018 challenge students can come up with any solution they like in the form of avoidance behaviours, reducing or reusing schemes or recycling measures.

“The catch is that it cannot be a type of plastic that is already accepted in recycling bins so plastics such as straws, chip packets, shrink or bubble wrap, plastic cutlery, yoghurt/food pouches, laminated items, polystyrene cups/plates/packaging will fit the criteria.

“With a $2,500 award for the Winner and 3 Highly Commended awards of $500 each, it’s a fun way to learn about reducing waste, and possibly win some great prize money for sustainability programs and resources.

“We don’t have to look too far for terrific recycling ideas. Last year Wamuran State School won the top prize in the 2017 Regional Recycler challenge for their ocean-themed dress made from 170 pieces of used plastic.

“Wamuran State School has used their prize money in very positive ways to help the environment. They purchased organic bins and SolarBuddy lights to fund students attending the EcoMarines Whirlpool event for sustainable development, among other great initiatives.

“Kurwongbah State School won a Highly Commended Award in last year’s Recycler Regional Competition and have used winnings to establish a sustainable garden and a planter box from an upcycled TV trolley, among other projects.

“While many households in the Moreton Bay Region dutifully use their recycling bins correctly, more than 176,000 tonnes of waste was still sent to landfill last year. It is estimated more than 50 per cent of household waste can be recycled, composted, reused or recovered.

“By engaging our youngest residents, we hope to promote positive behaviours in recycling and minimising waste at school, and at home.

“It’s all about using your imagination and having fun, while helping to create a sustainable culture in schools and ELCs across Moreton Bay.

The annual Regional Recycler Competition is part of council’s ongoing Community Waste Minimisation Program, which has engaged more than 100 early learning centres, primary and secondary schools, resulting in more than 41 per cent of education facilities in Moreton Bay auditing their waste practices.

The Program was recognised state-wide in 2016, receiving the ‘Community Award’ at the QLD Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Entries for the 2018 Regional Recycler Competition close Friday, October 5, 2018.

Winners will be announced during National Recycling Week 2018, which runs from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November.

For terms and conditions or to submit your entry see Regional Recycler 2018.

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