On 19 April 2016, senior management from Sustainability Victoria visited Cornish College to thank the students for their commitment to soft plastic recycling and to help the Parents’ Association present the school with a Buddy Bench made out of the equivalent of 21,250 pieces of plastic packaging.

Ms Jenny Pickles, Sustainability Victoria Director of Waste and Resource Recovery Programs, was joined by Ms Trish Hyde, CEO of the National Packaging Covenant Industry Association (NPCIA), Mr Tim Richardson MP, State Member for Mordialloc, and City of Greater Dandenong Councillors Angela Long and Matthew Kirwan at the event.

buddy-bench-1The guests were treated to a presentation by the students and were interested to learn about all the initiatives at Cornish College promoting sustainability.

Making new friends and making a difference at the same time

The Primary Make A Difference Leaders came up with an idea to install a Buddy Bench – a seat where students can meet up with their friends before going to play and, more importantly, make new friends along the way.

It was important to the MAD Leaders, Sustainability Leaders and EcoKids alike that the bench be made from a sustainable material, which is why a recycled-plastic bench was chosen.

celebrating-recycling-2Another exciting detail about the bench is the fact that it may even contain some of the soft plastic the students have collected themselves in the REDcycle Program introduced by the Parents’ Association at the school. It’s an innovative recycling scheme that’s diverting hundreds of tonnes of plastic bags and packaging from landfill each year.


Celebrating a sustainable future

At the conclusion of the event, Ms Pickles said, “This is a great initiative and one which every Victorian can be part of. Through the program, we can keep significant quantities of soft plastics out of landfill, and give them another life, such as in this Buddy Bench.”


Cornish College Principal, Ms Vicki Steer, said Cornish College was delighted to be involved in a program that involved not only the school community, but the wider community also, all working together towards a sustainable outcome for plastic bags and packaging.

“At Cornish College, our vision of sustainable living is all encompassing and includes not only environmental concerns, but personal, socio-cultural and urban/technological dimensions as well,” she explained. “We’re also pleased to be able to source the bench from a local company that is leading the way in the manufacture of recycled products”