The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Head of Middle School

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.


Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

The first image shows the plastics and recycling bin outside the Middle School Reception on lease from the recycling company Greenbatch. It is the legacy of a community project by three Year 8 boys last year. The Greenbatch bin collects PET and HDPE plastic bottles and once the bin is full, the plastic is taken away and converted to other usable plastic products by WA's very first plastic recycling plant.

The second image depicts two of the four 3D printers constructed by current Year 10 students in Design Technology classes that have been installed in Middle School. As a part of the Year 10 Design STEM course, students source the components, build a 3D printer, find homes for them and teach the recipients how to use them. Local schools have also been the beneficiaries of this project. Easy access to these printers means our Year 7 and 8 boys are now designing and sending their 3D work to the printers on our top floor. Even the staff are in on the act, with Mr Faint designing some neat components to house and store cabling for an iPad recharge station.

We need your help

I've placed the two images together as we need your help. All of the plastic that goes into the recycling bin is weighed and we get a monetary credit for this. With this credit we can purchase the plastic filament for our 3D printers, which in turn has been produced from the recycled plastic. It is a really neat illustration of the reduce, recycle and reuse philosophy. The statistic that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish hit home with me. As did the statistic that only 4% of the plastic we put in our yellow recycling bin is recycled into plastics product. Most I gather is used as fuel.

I am looking forward to the community projects our Year 8 boys are in their midst of delivering and I hope that this recycling project offers a simple but very valuable illustration of a community project initiative. I have encouraged our students and families to bring their plastic bottles from home to school to add into this recycling system. The economic and environmental benefits make this a valuable habit for us to get into. I am more than happy to lease more Greenbatch bins if need be. Learn more about this programme.