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Clever PLOYS to save planet from plastic

PLOYS PVC plastic products
Gerhard and Carin Sandker pictured with their stock of PLOYS handbags.

An idea that started with punctured pool floaties at home a little over a year ago has turned PLOYS into a thriving Bundaberg PVC plastic refurbishing business.

Ploys Creative Concepts in Disguise, also known as PLOYS, repurposes unwanted PVC plastic items into useful and fashionable products and last weekend celebrated its first birthday.

The concept first came to PLOYS owner Carin Sandker who, when confronted with punctured pool floaties at home, did not wish to throw them away as she was aware that it can take 1000 years for PVC waste to break down.

Since then, she and husband Gerhard have grown the business in the terms of product range and sales, as well as its measurable impact on waste reduction, and Carin said it was exciting to look back on how far they had come in the past 12 months.

“It has been a busy yet challenging year for us,” she said. “It started with Gerhard losing his job in software development due to COVID, which put a big strain on our family.

“Yet this is also what prompted us in setting up our own business. The idea of doing something with punctured pool toys had been there in the back of our minds.

“In 2020 we started small with making coin purses and pencil cases which has now grown to also making swim bags, backpacks and messenger bags.”

Since January 2020, PLOYS (the name combines pool and toys) has diverted 88kg of plastic PVC waste, such as punctured pool toys, air mattresses and rubber boats, from landfill, and grown its Facebook following to more than 1600 people liking its products and sustainability focus.

It has also formed collaborations with environment, education and government organisations, including the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science, CQUniversity’s Sustainable Futures, Queensland Sustainable Schools, and Bundaberg Regional Council.

Carin was delighted with the public support PLOYS had garnered in its first 12 months of operation.

“People love our PLOYS concept, the sustainability and the option of supporting a local circular loop business, where we create new products, such as bags, out of plastic waste,” she said.

“People these days don’t want to buy cheap bags or plastic products knowing that they won’t last and prefer to support durable upcycled handmade products, knowing they help the environment and that they have something truly unique to identify with, rather than mass production.”

PVC plastic refurbishing PLOYS
Carin and Gerhard are expanding their range of refurbished PVC items after a successful first 12 months of business.

Carin, who is working on library bag and iPad/laptop sleeve designs ahead of the new school year, as well as bags made from old umbrellas, said she was always looking for new product ideas.

“PVC lends itself perfectly to use in all weather conditions due to it being water resistant, light and beautifully colourful, which brightens peoples’ day,” she said.

“I like people not to just look good but also feel good that they have a practical, unique bag or purse that also helps the environment.”

PLOYS has grown to the extent that they are seeking a seamstress/tailor to help them get through the volume of orders. Anyone interested can email PLOYS at info@ploysdesign.com.au

The business has product stockists and drop-off points for PVC waste throughout Bundaberg and Queensland and products can also be bought online or at the Bargara Paradise Markets on most Sundays.

For more information visit the PLOYS website.

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