The Macleay-Hastings Hospital Speech Pathology team has started an initiative which not only reduces their carbon footprint but also leads to providing disabled children with a prosthetic limb, completely free of charge.
The speech pathology team were searching for ways to be more environmentally friendly when they stumbled across the Envision company, which collects donated recycled bottle lids to create mechanical hands and arms for disadvantaged kids.
After learning of the unique and generous Envision Hands project, the speech pathology team set up collection points in more than 10 locations in Kempsey and Port Macquarie medical units.
Over the past two months, the team has filled four 30 litre plastic tubs and they plan to take the lids to the nearest Envision collection point in Newcastle this month.
Speech pathologist Carly Powell, who has been the driving force of the recycling program, is delighted to play a role in helping disadvantaged children.
"Initially, we were looking at ways to be more waste free and contribute towards reducing our carbon footprint," Ms Powell said.
"But we found out about the company Envision on social media and discovered what they were doing for disabled kids and knew we had to get on board.
"It's a great way to give to children who have faced a setback in their life. The kids receive prosthetic hands which helps them live a normal life and allows them to do what other kids can do."
The prosthetic limbs are created at the Envision headquarters through a three-step process.
The bottle lids are shredded before they are put through an extruder to create filament, which is then used in the 3D printers to create the prosthetic hands.
Watch the video below for further information on Envision's process of creating prosthetic hands.
Unfortunately the medical locations are unable to be a collection point for the community, but Ms Powell has urged the public to jump on board and create their own bottle lid recycle points.
"We can't be a community collection point because of contamination issues. We have been collecting them from colleagues, patients and visitors," Ms Powell said.
"But everyone can get involved in their own way. People can start their own collection points and then take the bottle lids to Envision's collection point in Newcastle.
"You aren't supposed to recycle bottle lids through the return and earn scheme so having a bottle lid recycle point close by would work well."
The bottle lids with a number '2' or '4' on the cap, not the bottle, are suitable for creating the prosthetic hands. The numbers must be stand alone, not within a code. This generally includes soft drink, water and milk bottle caps.
The Envision Hands project entered their second year in 2019 and have already smashed their goal of collecting one million bottle tops and turning them into 100 hands.
The company is now seeking support to raise funds to purchase machines to create more hands and help more children live normal lives. A link to Envision Hands' Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/envision-hands/
Envision also works with disadvantaged job seekers, not-for-profit organisations and complete other lifechanging projects, find out more: https://envision.org.au/about-us/