Melissa Soutar is on a mission to cut back on toy waste and reimagine family playtime. Her Queensland-based business, Spark Pop, promotes kid-friendly experiences like tours, wildlife park visits, and play centre outings as gifts, enabling family and friends to replace toy purchases with memorable experiences.
The latest edition to Spark Pop’s services is a recycling solution for old and broken toys via Zero Waste Boxes at their partner entertainment venues. “We thought it would be great to offer recycling at those locations where parents aren’t tempted to buy any more, they simply leave toys to be repurposed,” Melissa says.
The initiative has already kicked off at two Brisbane venues – Area 51 and Miss Petite Day Spa – and many others are keen to share the solution with their customers. Expansion to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth is on the horizon for Spark Pop, and Melissa’s goal is to increase toy recycling access as her services grow.
Everyone who works or visits the health and aged care facilities at Great Ocean Road Health in Victoria is required to wear a face mask for the safety of patients. But as is the case in many healthcare settings, this results in a huge amount of waste going to landfills.
Janet Smartt, Support Service Manager at the centre, went searching for a solution to this problem and found the Masks Zero Waste Box.
“We live in a beautiful part of the world, with the ocean at the front of our facilities and the Otway Ranges behind us. After observing the increased environmental impact disposable masks have had since Covid, I thought we needed to do something about the masks going into landfills,” she says.
Great Ocean Road Health now fills up a medium Zero Waste Box with masks each month, ensuring these hard-to-recycle materials aren’t wasted. This aligns with the centre’s efforts to recycle everything from used printer cartridges and batteries to cardboard and lightbulbs.
Gaze up at the towers of shipping containers and giant cruise ships that float through the Port of Townsville and you’ll quickly realise everything happens on a large scale at this Queensland container and automotive port. This holds true for their commitment to waste reduction.
Lauren, the port’s Acting Environmental Advisor, invested in Zero Waste Boxes to recycle PPE after being inspired by another port recycling hard hats with TerraCycle. “Zero Waste Boxes appealed to us as a solution to recycle items that are critical for maintaining a safe work environment, such as hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, and face masks.”
She says visibility of their Zero Waste Boxes is essential to encourage on-site recycling and future uptake of sustainable end-of-life solutions for common waste within the industry.
“Our boxes are located in areas where PPE is used most predominantly – the maintenance workshop and environment store – to make recycling quick and convenient.”
“In time, we hope we’ll be able to encourage other port users and industry peers to adopt similar solutions, as we showcase our own success with the Zero Waste Boxes.”