Originally written by ekko.world on 3 January 2020. Original article here.

Are you a habitual buyer of bread in plastic bags with plastic tags? Save the tag!

These pesky little pieces of plastic attached to your fresh bread aren’t trash. They are potential life givers to people like Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs, who collect them, sell them to recyclers and turn the cash into wheelchairs for people who can’t afford them. It takes around 200kg of plastic ties to fund a wheelchair (at around 1 gram each, I assume that’s 200,000 of them).

Recycling Bread Tags

Bread tags are made of high impact polystyrene (Type 6 PS Plastic) which is denser than many other types of plastic, making them compact and easy to recycle. Because of their small size they are somewhat annoying to big recyclers, but for small local recyclers with specialist machinery, it’s simple. So much so that they can skip the shredding stage of the recycle process, going straight to melting and extruding the plastic. Also, unlike most other plastic waste, bread tags are usually clean.

Where are tags recycled

At the moment, Bread Tags for Wheelchairs send their plastic to Transmutation (who are part of the Precious Plastic movement), in South Australia and are looking for recyclers in the other states who are interested in buying the tags. Transmutation turn the tags into bowls, coaster, breadboards and other items. By finding recyclers closer to each state, they can replicate the collection and transport model in those regions.

Country Road stock bowls made from bread tags!

Collecting Bread Tags

Anyone can collect bread tags — at home, work, school etc. All you need to do is get a jar and throw your tags in. If you want to collect at work or school, just make a sign for your jar and go for it.  Anywhere lots of bread and rolls are used make great collection points — such as your local café, child care centre, nursing home, hospital or school tuck shop. Broken tags, bigger potato bag tags are fine (just clean, please!).

Drop off or mail in

When you accumulate enough bread tags, you can either contact your local collector or simply mail them in. You can check for closest collection point here.

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