Cool stuff we can make when you recycle
With the new year, brings opportunities to make small changes that can have a positive effect on our environment, community and those in need of a helping hand. A simple change is to collect containers for recycling as well as container lids. We are here to share with you some ways that plastic bottles, aluminium and bottle caps are being recycled and used in positive ways.
When you visit the depot to recycle your containers, you can't help but wonder – what happens to the plastic and aluminium? Plastic items are made to stand the test of time, often these products are used just once. Across the world, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans (1) putting our precious marine life at danger. Fortunately, it is possible to move away from single-use plastic and avoid plastic waste in our oceans or in landfills. There are many businesses and organisations that are choosing to turn away from using virgin plastics and instead repurposing recycled plastics in new products.
Team Timbuktu is a small Australian business creating fashionable and sustainable activewear including leggings, crop tops and tech jackers. Their products are created using fabric that is made from post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles! Ahimsa Collective have created stunning bags made from washable paper and lined with 100% ecoprene, made from post-consumer plastic bottles. If you are in need of a new pair of kicks but would like something natural Allbirds have some great options. Their shoes are made from sustainable wool, recycled plastic bottles and cardboard. Plastic recycled from a bottle can be recycled into fleece jackets, upholstery, new bottles and so much more (2).
Aluminium cans can be melted down and made into new products over and over again. Did you know that nearly 75 per cent of all aluminium produced since 1888 is still in use today (2)? In 60 days a can is able to be melted down, turned into a new one, filled with a beverage and placed back on a store shelf. Now that's efficient! When aluminium cans are deposited at a recycling depo a truck collects and then delivers them to a material recovery facility. The cans are then sorted and baled. From here, bales are shredded and turned into tiny pieces. The paint and coatings are removed from the aluminium. The aluminium pieces are then melted down and cast into inglots (2). These inglots are flattened into sheets with rollers, sheets are then wound into coils. Aluminium is then ready to be reused to make new cans, bicycles, aeroplane parts and much more.
When you visit a container deposit vender you will likely be asked to remove the lids from containers before depositing. Lids should be removed from beverage containers before taking them for refund as it will help with the crushing of containers at processing facilities. Plastic bottles are made from a different plastic than the tops. If you do not separate the plastics this can cause problems with transport and storage. It also reduces the level of contamination which leads to better recycling outcomes for your containers (3).
There is a family in Australia turning bottle caps into prosthetic limbs for children in need. Tim Miller started collecting recyclables to raise money to support his own medical bills. He quickly realised that depots would not accept non-recyclable bottle caps. The Miller family did some research and found a Victorian charity, Envision. They turn plastic bottle lids into mobility aids for child amputees (4). Tim Miller sharing, 'once I found out that I thought it was fantastic. It ticks all three boxes for us – it helps out the environment, it helps out kids with a disability and the other thing I like about it is that the group employs disadvantaged people.'
The Miller family launched the Lids 4 Kids project which partners with a local hospitality business to collect lids from their own venue as well as act as a drop of point for local residents. The lids are then delivered to Envision Hands for further processing. Lids are cleaned, sorted into colours and then shredded and fed through an extruder whereby a filament is created that can be used in 3D printing to produce bright prosthetics. These are sent to children in need across various developing countries.
Charities benefitting from container deposits
As well as recycling containers and by-products, many charities use the 10c refund on containers to support their services. Country Fire Service in Mylor South Australia is one example. They use the refund to purchase useful equipment and acknowledge that without the income the fire fighting unit would simply not function as effectively (5). The Scout Association of Australia (SA Branch) is the largest not-for-profit, volunteer-based and youth-orientated organisation in South Australia. They create a significant income from receiving a refund for depositing containers. In fact, 2015 saw Scouts SA receive more than 90 million containers through their collecting centres. This created in excess of $9 million in refunds back to the wider community!
About Container Deposit Systems
Container Deposit Systems was formed with a vision to oversee the implementation of improved operational practices in recycling facilities. The company offers a range of services to recycling depot facilities to drive productivity improvements and transition traditional recycling facilities into modern technically advanced operators.
The company achieves this through patented technologies which deliver manufacturing automation to auto-sort materials under supervision via a highly sensitive multi-sensor integration. Systems integrations enable facilities to further gain efficiencies through workflows, materials handling, logistic processes, facility layout and design, customer interaction and data acquisition and management.
Container Deposit Systems technologies are designed and manufactured in Australia with local partners Sage Automation and Macweld Engineering.
For more information, please contact us directly.
https://www.wwf.org.au/news/ blogs/17-cool-products-made- from-recycled-plastics#gs. rzl6d9
https://www.recycleeverywhere. ca/recycling-info/what-they- become/
https://www.mytomra.com.au/ frequently-asked-questions- qld/
https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/ environmental_info/container_ deposit/testimonials