Humble bread tags go a long way to help

Debbie Knowles is collecting the humble little bread tags from around the Bundaberg Region to help disadvantaged people have access to wheelchairs in the initiative Bread Tags for Wheelchairs.
Debbie Knowles is collecting bread tags from around the Bundaberg Region to help disadvantaged people have access to wheelchairs through the initiative Bread Tags for Wheelchairs.

Did you know the humble bread tag can be recycled to fund valuable items such as wheelchairs?

Well, Bundaberg’s Debbie Knowles knows the little pieces of plastic can go a long way, and that’s why it’s her mission to collect as many bread tags as she can.

The effort is to help disadvantaged people have access to wheelchairs and Debbie needs the Bundaberg community to get on board.

The initiative Bread Tags for Wheelchairs was started in South Africa in 2006 by Mary Honeybun, and has now gone global, with Debbie setting up the local collection in the Bundaberg Region.

The community program’s aim is for individuals and organisations to collect bread tags, which are then sold to recyclers, and the money then pays for wheelchairs for the less fortunate.

It takes about 500kg of bread tags to fund two or three wheelchairs for people in South Africa.

“It’s early days, I think I am the first in Bundaberg to set up a collection point as I just registered last week, but I hope to help make a difference,” Debbie said.

“Everyone has a bread tie or two hanging about in their kitchen; if they collect them in a jar they add up and can go a long way!”

Learning from a young age

Bread Tags
Working in childcare Debbie Knowles says it's important to teach children like Noah Wilson to help the environment.

Debbie said it's a win-win situation as less fortunate people would “get their legs” while keeping the plastic tags from entering the Bundaberg Region’s environment.

She said teaching the next generation to think about small ways to help keep the world sustainable was vital.

“I work in childcare and I think it’s important to teach young children about these programs from an early age,” she said.

“I am big on recycling and this is just another item we can all look at to save it from entering the environment.”

Everyone can play a part

Debbie said the more people collecting the bread tags the better, and she’s calling on Bundaberg business to jump on board too.

“Businesses such as take away stores, which use a lot of bread, would be ideal collectors,” she said.

“But all businesses can get involved with a collection tub for employees and customers to drop the tags in – then give me a call and I will come and collect it or it can be dropped in my mailbox.”

Debbie said it may seem like a lot of work, but really it was easier than most people realised.

“If people eat one loaf of bread a week, they can collect a months’ worth,” she said.

Deb’s Helping Hands Community Support

This isn’t the first time Debbie and her husband Geoff have rallied together in support of others. Every year the pair take part in fundraising for Camp Quality through the annual Escarpade, Australia's happiest and wackiest outback motoring adventure helping to make a difference to kids that are impacted by cancer.

They lost their son Brendan to cancer in 2007, and Debbie said they took part in these type of community causes with no expectations of anything in return.

“We know what it’s like to be helped; that’s why we want to give back where ever we can,” she said.

To find out how you can help click here.