Company turns more than 1 million bottle caps into prosthetics for children in need

Eco 02/08/2019

An Australian charitable project is turning millions of plastic bottle caps into prosthetic hands and arms for disadvantaged children across the world.

Through the process of upcycling and 3D printing, Envision Hands is able to create mobility aids for children worldwide. The programme, founded by Sean Teer, started about 18 months ago. 

"We started just collecting bottle tops in the Wyndham shire, and from there it's been assisted by the Coca-Cola Foundation and rotary clubs," Teer, from Werribee, Victoria, told 7News.

The collection of bottle caps has subsequently gone viral throughout Australia, as members of the public donate their bottle tips to Envision Hands' ever-growing supply.

"We're now up to a couple million, I believe," says Teer.

The foundation offers superhero-themed colour schemes, designed to make children feel empowered by their prosthetics.

The success of the foundation has inspired Envision Hands to seek public funding to purchase the commercial machinery required to process the plastic caps. The charity's GoFundMe page has currently raised over AU$7,000.

The initiative also aims to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, working to reduce its carbon footprint through upcycling recycled materials wherever possible.

The Envision Hands programme has established a number of drop-off locations for the public to donate their recyclable plastic milk, water and soft-drink lids.

Envision Hands has received highly positive feedback from the public.

"Go Sean, who would have thought it would grow this fast. From little things, big things grow," one donator commented on the GoFundMe page.

"What you guys are doing by bringing hope and excitement into little people's lives is so beautiful and inspiring," wrote another.

"This project is about people power and it is through your efforts thus far that we have stopped so many tops going into landfill," says the GoFundMe.

"We just need the funds to process the tops and make even more hands for kids in need."