From bread tags to wheelchairs

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THE Mt Martha branch of the Bendigo bank is the drop-off point for plastic bread tags which are part of the Bread Tags for Wheelchairs campaign.

Created in South Africa in 2006, Bread Tags for Wheelchairs sells used bread tags to plastic companies and uses the proceeds to buy wheelchairs for disadvantaged South Africans with disabilities.

The plastic company then recycles the tags into seedling trays and doorknobs.

The volunteer run organisation collects 500kg of bread tags each month in South Africa, contributing to two to three wheelchairs.

Retired nurse Mary Honeybun started the program after realising how important it is, both physically and mentally, for a person to have mobility.

In August 2018, Bread Tags for Wheelchairs started collecting in Australia, and bread tags are recycled via the Australian company, Transmutation.

Mt Martha Bendigo Bank manager, Kerry Debernardi, said the bank has been collecting bread tags for about three weeks.

“We find it’s a great cause and an environmental issue we want to support,” she said.

“We were invited to be involved by BERG MM. It’s an easy and convenient project for locals

Broken tags are accepted, and tags do not have to be completely clean.

Larger tags are also suitable for collection, while bread ties are not, as they contain metal.

In addition to supporting disabled South Africans in poverty, the campaign is having a positive impact the environment by recycling plastic that would otherwise go to landfill.

Because of the tag’s small size and abundant nature, they are also a threat to native wildlife.

Patricia MacLeod

First published in the Western Port News – 2 October 2019

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