Turning bottle caps into bench seats
The Lynne Kosky Memorial Applied Learning Grants (formerly Lynne Kosky Memorial VCAL Grants) are awarded to VCAL, VCE Vocational Major or Victorian Pathways Certificate providers to develop learning initiatives that support lifelong learning and increased community participation.
Congratulations to Ranges TEC, one of the 2021 grant recipients, whose Year 11 VCAL students are leading an initiative to recycle plastic lids into bench seats for schools and community groups, saving plastics that would normally end up in landfill. Ranges TEC is a campus of Mount Evelyn Christian School and supports hands-on learners to complete Year 12 and follow a pathway into trade, TAFE or the wider workforce.
The students researched designs for the bench seat and the steel moulds to make the plastic beams. After also consulting with a local steel supplier, they then purchased, cut, drilled, filed and welded the steel to produce the first of three moulds.
Local microplastics recycling business Precious Plastic Melbourne has used the mould to extrude the first plastic beam. The business works closely with charity Lids4Kids, who collect, wash and sort donated plastic lids. The lids are then shredded and recycled into different products.
The next stage of the initiative will see the students manufacturing steel legs and assembling the bench seats. They and their teachers at Ranges TEC can’t wait to see their colourful creations being used in their local community. The project has been a great opportunity for students to understand and engage in sustainable practices, which they can apply in their future work placements and careers.
Applications for the 2022 grants close Friday 4 November. For criteria and how to apply, go to the Lynne Kosky Memorial Applied Learning Grants page.
Thanks to Ranges TEC for their help in writing this article