Shared goals as Lids4Kids begins fundraising with the ACT Container Deposit Scheme


Lids4Kids, like the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), is all about sustainability and recycling.

Lids4Kids began when Canberra’s Tim Miller started collecting plastic bottle lids to recycle into new plastic products. Initially the bottle lids went to the charity Envision Hands to recycle into children’s prosthetics (this program has since closed down). Now the lids are used by schools, community groups and small plastic manufacturers. Lids are sorted by colour and plastic type before they are shredded. Once shredded some are pressed into sheets or injected into moulds to make new products.

The charity has grown so much that more funds are needed to continue to operate and rescue plastic lids as well as purchase more equipment. So, in keeping with the strong sustainably ethos, volunteer Jo Erskine initiated fundraising via the ACT CDS and established a number of dedicated collection bins for eligible drink containers around Canberra. She returns the containers to the Return-It Mitchell and Belconnen cash-back depots, with help from her son.

Even though the initiative has only just begun, more than 1,000 containers have already been collected and returned. Jo has plans to scale up in a big way, and says she hopes to partner with sports clubs and events to collect their eligible containers.

Tim says Lids4Kids is trying to grow what they do with local schools and hopes to be able to provide schools with materials and equipment so they can recycle their plastic into practical items such as cutlery for school camps and picture frames.

“We want to get kids to understand about the environment, plastics and the effect that it has,” Tim says. “We already have a number of schools that are involved. It’s really picking up pace now.”

Jo adds that she hopes as fundraising grows, Lids4Kids will be able to afford an injection moulding machine, which will cost about $10,000.

Eligible container refunds can be donated to Lids4Kids at ACT CDS return points using Lids4Kids’ code 0493214482.

Interested in fundraising through ACT CDS? Find out more on our Fundraising page.

The ACT CDS is a partnership between the ACT Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator Return-It.