• PLASTIC:Unwrapped

Finding the weird and wonderful in Marrickville,Sydney

Another weird and wonderful week we’ve had in Sydney- jam packed with meetings, visits and connecting with both new people and old friends. It was Australia day last weekend which gave us the opportunity to experience some local and indigenous singers which was great! (*A very unrelated top tip: Have you ever head of Casey Donovan? If not, you should check out her story and her beautiful voice!)

Have you ever thought about what happens to mannequins once they are no longer used? What about freebies (everything from umbrellas, pens, chips, notepads) that are branded and dated for a specific conference, but that company didn’t end up giving out all of them and so they are just left? What about the excess glue in industrial glue guns- what can we do with that? What about the plastic negatives that are left over from companies that punch out specific shapes but don’t need the offcuts of plastic sheets?

This week we have been working on our video on Reverse Garbage, an organisation that we visited last Monday. Check out the video below:

Reverse Garbage in Marrickwille, Sydney, is giving the general public access to get creative and REUSE products, offcuts, bits and bobs that would otherwise have gone to landfill straight away. Anyone is invited to come to their warehouse and have a snoop. Believe me, you can find near to everything. Artists, collectors, educators, school groups and the general public are all welcome. Need some party or even wedding decorations? You will find everything from buttons to lace. Check out their website for workshops, events and activities that they run:

(We are aware that these activities are only really relevant to Sydneysiders and those living on this side of the pond. But have you checked to see if there are any creative reuse centers in your area? We have heard of several in the UK and will be keen to visit them when we head there in a few months!)

Reverse Garbage was started by a group of educators over 50 ago. This creative reuse centre is really challenging common perception on how we can look at our resources differently. It is encouraging us to see the many different uses items can have. If we can reconsider and reuse things in a different manner instead of buying it new, our waste will be reduced. Through their education programs, school excursions and craft groups they are even inspiring children from a young age on to consume less and think more creatively!

An important message that Reverse Garbage is promoting is to make REUSING something your first choice. Thinking in terms of the waste hierarchy, we are always so quick to think that recycling is the way to go, when in fact, recycling is quite low on the hierarchy. We should only really be recycling if we have tried to reduce our consumption in the first place, reused the item and have attempted to repair it. Only then should we think about recycling.

So next time you need something new, think about how you could use something that you already have instead, borrow it if you are only needing to use it once or twice, or find a creative reuse center like Reverse Garbage!