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‘Buddy benches’ coming to a school yard near you

29 May 2021 at 8:00 am
Luke Michael
Each bench will be made from about 8,250 pieces of plastic packaging 

Luke Michael | 29 May 2021 at 8:00 am


‘Buddy benches’ coming to a school yard near you
29 May 2021 at 8:00 am

Each bench will be made from about 8,250 pieces of plastic packaging 

Supermarket giant Coles wants to reward Australian primary schools leading the way with protecting the environment, pledging to build 100 “buddy benches” made from 98 per cent recycled plastic for school kids across the country.

On Wednesday, Coles launched its national Sustainability4Schools competition, which primary schools can enter by explaining in less than 400 words how they are committed to safeguarding the environment.

The winning schools will get a “buddy bench” made for their schoolyard by Melbourne-based business Replas, using about 8,250 pieces of plastic packaging.

The launch of the competition comes as Coles celebrates its 10-year anniversary with REDcycle, which collects soft plastic from the supermarket to be recycled into products such as the outdoor benches.

Coles general manager of sustainability and property services, Kirsty Davis, said Sustainabilty4Schools was part of the supermarket’s strategy to deliver net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.

“School kids are key to driving generational sustainability for the future so we wanted to reward and recognise primary schools across Australia which are leading the way when it comes to protecting the environment,” Davis said.

“By giving away benches made from recycled material, we also want to help divert plastic waste from landfill and provide another practical solution to soft plastics collected in our stores.”

REDcycle founder Elizabeth Kasell said primary schools were leading the way in recycling and encouraged them to enter the challenge.

She said it was great to see schools rewarded for their sustainability work. 

“We call the benches ‘buddy benches’ because kids can sit together in the playground, talk and enjoy each other’s company,” Kasell said.

“Not only are the benches a great outcome for recycled soft plastic but they are practical and welcome additions to school playgrounds.” 

You can find out more about the competition – which runs until 5pm AEST on 4 June – here

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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