Transforming plastic lids into prosthetic limbs

Holy Cross School, Wooloowin

Holy Cross students collected 67kg of bottle lids and counting

SIXTY-seven kilograms of bottle tops collected by staff and students at Holy Cross School, Wooloowin, will be transformed into prosthetic hands for children with little or no access to medical facilities.

That was 67kg of plastic that would otherwise be in landfill but, with the help of a 3D printer, they would now make a difference for children with missing limbs.

The school’s bottle top collection started when school officer Sue Shaw heard a story on ABC radio about a company called Envision.

Through their Hands project, Envision was seeking school children to collect plastic bottle tops destined for landfills.

What started with a small collection point in the staffroom, grew into a whole school initiative in the second half of Term 3.

Principal Paul Drewniak offered a pizza party to the class who collected the most lids by the end of term.

Year 1 student Alex said he was so super excited to win a pizza party that he roped in his dad in and they collected lids from his office in the city.

“Dad was happy to help me,” he said.

Hayden in Year 2 also was excited to take on the challenge and possibly win a pizza party for his class.

“My dad helped me collect every bottle top I could,” Hayden said.

“We collected the lids from the bottle recycling place at Stafford.”

Hayden made two trips to the recycling centre and collected his lids by sorting through buckets of lids.

“It was sticky, and we had to wash them,” he said.

Erin, her brother Byron, and fellow student Christian from Years 5/6  approached the bottle depository at Kedron, where they sorted through lids that could not be recycled and otherwise would go to landfill. 

Erin said she had collected the lids to help the environment, but she thought her brother really wanted a pizza party.

Christian said he went to the depository twice and collected seven bags of lids.

“I thought about why throw the lids out, as they go to landfill, so why not collect them and help others,” he said.

There resourcefulness helped the Years 5-6 students win the pizza party with a whopping 32kg of lids collected.

Mr Drewniak said the students were very resourceful in finding the many places the lids could be collected from.

He said Holy Cross began the collection challenge again in Term 4 and encouraged other schools to join in and make a difference by finding a collection point through the Envision website at

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