Plastic made fantastic

Affinity Education Group's Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia are calling for plastic bottle tops and bread tags over the coming weeks as part of a sustainability project to help people in need. 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 Affinity Education Group our educators focus on creating a Healthy World. Staff understand the need for children to learn about social responsibility, conservation, environmental issues, sustainability and the role we can all play in these areas. We believe that children are the future and it’s never too early for them to understand the role they can play in contributing to a Healthy World. 

Our Lifelong Learning Centres also place great importance on their Healthy Community programs. These programs focus on building community belonging, contribution and longevity. Our educators 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!

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At Affinity Education Group we are passionate about bringing our Lifelong Learning Centres Healthy Children Programs to life and are always looking for passionate educators to live and breathe our values.

To find out how you can get involved and kickstart your next career chapter take a look at our current vacancies today.