Lending a hand

The Community and Learning Melton school (known as the CALM school) has started collecting plastic bottle tops and then recycling them into 3D printed plastic hand mobility aids here students Daniel 12 and Bailey 13 hold up the bottle tops and hands with cewntre Sean Teer from ENVISION who has helped with the 3d modelling and recycling

By Ewen McRae

Bottle caps are so often discarded and sent to landfill, but a new program is giving them a second life.
A partnership between CaLM (a campus of Melton Secondary College for students who struggle with mainstream education) and Envision Plastics is helping turn bottecaps into plastic hands for amputees.
The students have been collecting the caps for 10 weeks and recently finished their first hand. CaLM teacher Trevor Faure said it had been a fantastic experience.
“We’ve been provided with a 3D printer, and we’ve collected the bottecaps to work towards making these hands,“ he said.
“Envision came in and explained how there’s different ways of re-using these caps instead of sending them off to recycling plants, and creating something that is worthwhile for someone in need is a fantastic thing to be a part of.“
It takes roughly 1000 caps to complete a full hand, with the plastic then broken down and 3D printed into the finished product.
Mr Faure said the response from the students had been incredibly positive, and he hoped it would become a long lasting partnership with Envision.
“It’s been amazing,“ he said.
“They’ve been very engaged, and these are the students who often struggle to focus and stay interested, but knowing that there’s a purpose for this activity and they are helping other people has really helped keep them focussed.
“We have the printer now, and Envision will stay involved with helping us out, so we can continue collecting the bottle caps for a fair while and keep making these hands for them.“