Wesley College students push envelope with idea for reusing plastic

Oliver Welland (15), Christopher Jongue (15) and Travis Godfrey (14) with their 'Relope' invention. Picture: David Baylis
Oliver Welland (15), Christopher Jongue (15) and Travis Godfrey (14) with their 'Relope' invention. Picture: David Baylis

THREE Wesley College students transformed household plastic bags into reusable envelopes for their winning entry in a sustainability recycling challenge.

Year 9 business innovation and enterprise students Oliver Welland (15), Christopher Jongue (15) and Travis Godfrey (14) created ‘Relope’ for their submission to the Young Re-inventor of the Year 2018 award.

Travis said the aim of this year’s competition was to reinvent plastic and tackle the issue of plastic in waterways.

“We wanted to invent something with more purposes than one, like something as common as an envelope,” he said.

A plastic bag is placed between two sheets of paper and after heat is applied with the iron to shrink and combine the plastic, the paper is peeled and recycled.

Christopher said pieces of paper stuck to the plastic after heating were easily washed off with water.

The plastic is cut and folded to size before gluing the sides and attaching Velcro stickers.

Wesley College business teacher Kathy Krajcar said the boys went through a period of trial and error before deciding on their tools and materials.

“It’s good to see boys with an iron in their hands,” she said.

Oliver said it took about half-an-hour to make a finished product.

“One of the pros of the project is that it uses quite a few of the plastic bags,” he said.

Wesley College was a joint first prize winner with five other schools, receiving $333 from the shared sustainability package prize.

Ms Krajcar said the prize would be used to buy sustainable bins for separating rubbish.