Posted December 2018

Over the last month, the children at KU Kintaiba Children's Centre have been collecting soft plastics as part of their learning around recycling.

The long day care centre, which is located on the grounds of the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, has been taking part in the university’s ‘Bags to Benches’ program, where collected plastics will be turned into benches at the university campus.

So far, the university has collected 319kg of soft plastics, or the equivalent of 71,091 plastic shopping bags.

“The children have been concerned about plastics in the environment and how this affects water quality, the oceans and sea life,” said KU Kintaiba Director, Megan Parkes.

“Each week the children have been walking to the libraries on campus to drop off the soft plastics they have collected in the designated recycling bins.”

The children were invited to the launch and installation of a new bench at the campus which was constructed from soft plastic made from the equivalent of 16,750 plastic shopping bags.

“The presentation celebrated the recycling efforts of our centre and the university and it provided an opportunity for the children to see what can be produced from their recycling efforts,” said Megan.

“It has been great to be involved in the Bags to Benches project. The program has allowed us to combine sustainable education and practices with connecting to the community, and it is part of our commitment towards keeping plastic bags and packaging out of landfill.”

“We aim to continue reducing our plastic consumption and recycling what we can, and through our recycling efforts at our centre we hope to be able to purchase our own bench next year.”

For more information about the Bags to Benches program visit https://www.newcastle.edu.au/about-uon/our-university/sustainability/bags-to-benches