The small school in regional WA is leading their community in an innovative recycling program run in partnership with Perth startup Greenbatch.

The program puts Bunbury Cathedral at the centre of a closed loop recycling system, where plastic waste is processed into filament for use in the school’s 3D printers.

Parents and community members can drop their single-use plastics at the school which are then collected by Greenbatch and returned in the form of thermoplastic feedstock.

One of eight schools in the state to trial the program, and the only regional site, Bunbury Cathedral has big plans for the recycled plastics.

Alongside design and technology projects in class, the students are looking at initiatives that would use the filament to design and print prosthetic limbs for those in need around the world.

It’s all part of the school’s outward focus on developing students as responsible “global citizens”, says acting head of school Matthew O’Brien, and the fact that the school is in a regional area is beside the point. 

“Well, for us, recycling is a no-brainer, it’s just something we do and we have to do. If we don’t do it, if we try and make an excuse that we’re in a regional area and we can’t do these things, then what kind of education are we offering our students?”

“The bottom line is that while we might be a rural school, we’re also a global school, we’ve got global citizens ... and we pride ourselves in offering that kind of global education.”