• PLASTIC:Unwrapped

Reversing Garbage in QLD

Hello from warm and sunny Brisbane!

Yesterday, we got all excited as we visited another re-use center in Woolloongaba, Brisbane. Although it shares its name with the creative reuse center we visited in Marrickville, Sydney, this Reverse Garbage QLD is an independent center.

We were welcome by Mei, who showed us around the warehouse and told us a bit about the history. Reverse Garbage QLD has been operating for over 20 years. By working closely with local companies and initiatives, they aim to provide artists, school classes, educators, students, DIY-lovers (and the list could go on and on), with an opportunity to find little bits and bobs that are of use to them and would otherwise have gone to landfill.

It is always such a joy wondering around these places with your creative hat on and seeing what you could make or how you could reuse misprinted fold-up water bottles, pieces of carpet, AstroTurf, old frames and paintings, buckets, mannequins, stationary, pipette holders or even mismatched pairs of Crocs. We got chatting to a few people, including a graphic design and engineering student who said that a place like Reverse Garbage is the perfect place to get creative and even find inspiration for some of her university projects. It is also great for individuals who are needing to fix something and are just looking for some odd bits and pieces or wiring or rubber to insulate leaks. While Reverse Garbage's primary message and aim is to promote reusing and looking at items from a resourceful perspective, in doing so it also gives more people the opportunity to repair- another important aspect of the waste hierarchy.

One aspect that we loved and haven't seen before was the 'Craft Emporium'. This was a section of the warehouse where local artists and entrepreneurs who are using recycled material in their work are given a platform to present their work but also to sell it. All of the products need to be made out of at least 70% recycled materials. One of my personal favourites was the jewellery that was made out of old road signs. Very cool!

We really value opportunities like these to meet like-minded individuals. So while Reverse Garbage are not solely focused on plastic, they promote important messages on how we see and view waste in general.