Thousands of single-use plastic straws and cups have been diverted from landfill to help teach local students about sustainability.
The plastics were collected from restaurants in the Sunshine CBD, as an extension of the Sunshine Business Association’s Straws Suck campaign.
Not-for-profit student-run social enterprise group Enactus collected the plastics and delivered them to Sunshine North Primary School where grade 5/6 students took part in a workshop to re-purpose them – creating terrariums.
Sunshine Business Association president Carson Luk said it was a fantastic way to continue to rid the precinct of single-use plastic.
“The traders were already aware of the Straws Suck after we visited them earlier in the year and provided them with free paper straws and dispensers,” he said.
“Going from store-to-store with Enactus and asking for participation in this project was an extension of this.”
The students were also able to make some money out of the venture.
Students held a stall at the Sunshine Business Association’s Friday Street Market where they sold their terrariums.
“The market was a huge success,” Mr Luk said. “They [terrariums] sold out in 40 minutes and raised around $250 along with donations.
“The money raised will be channeled back into Sunshine North Primary School’s sustainability program.”
Mr Luk said it was fantastic to see Brimbank’s youth embrace sustainability in a practical way.
“It was a great experience for the young people to practice social entrepreneurship by selling something to the public that they made themselves,” he said.
“At one stage we had the student sustainability representative from the school talking to the sustainability co-ordinator of the Brimbank council about their roles and actions to date on plastic reduction in Sunshine.”