How PLOYS Transforms Old Inflatable Pools Into Useful Items

Are you wondering what to do with old inflatables and pool toys? You can bring them to the Tarragindi Community Garden who collects them and turns them over to Bundaberg-based PLOYS. Get to know what happens to inflatable pools once they reach the facility.

Read: Get To Know Renae McBrien, Founder of Tarragindi Community Garden

PLOYS source the inflatable pools from various organisations throughout Queensland, including the Tarragindi community Garden, by scheduling pickup from these clubs.

Photo credit: Ploys – Creative Concepts in Disguise/Facebook

They begin by cleaning the pools, before cutting the patterns and sewing them into functional items, such as bags, purses and art smocks. To ensure that the items will be durable, they use the right sewing machine foot and stitch length and reinforce seams.

Husband and wife Carin and Gerhard Sandker started the idea from having discarded pool toys and pool inflatables, that were either punctured or “just not played with anymore” on the side of their pool at home. 

Carin and Gerhard Sandker (Photo credit: Ploys – Creative Concepts in Disguise/Facebook)

Carin, an occupational therapist, is the one designing the items, whilst her husband Gerhard as Systems Architect runs the IT, marketing and dispatching side of the business.

“We just couldn’t throw away all this plastic, knowing that PVC is one of the worst products to decompose; taking up to a 1000 years to disintegrate,” the Sandkers said in their website.

To reduce plastic waste and make the planet a healthier world to live in for all, Carin and Gerhard established PLOYS in 2019. 

Inflatables collected from Tarragindi (Photo credit: Ploys – Creative Concepts in Disguise/Facebook)

Through the Tarragindi Community Garden, PLOYS has collected as much as 200 kg of pool inflatable plastic this year. It contributes to a big milestone, as they have saved one tonne of plastics from going to landfills.

Read: Tarragindi Community Garden: Championing Domestic Waste Reduction

PLOYS encourages the public to donate their punctured pool inflatables, air mattresses, broken umbrellas and shower curtains in one of their collection points or post it to them. You can also drop them at the Tarragindi recycling hub at the Tarragindi Community Garden at Wellers Hill Bowls Club.

Dispose of Old Pool Toys, Air Mattresses at the Tarragindi Recycling Bin

Do you have old pool toys, air mattresses, umbrellas or lunch boxes for disposal? As the Council’s kerbside collection remains suspended until mid-2022, consider dropping these items at the Tarragindi Community Garden at Wellers Hill Bowls Club, where there’s a Tarragindi Recycling Bin. 

The bin, an initiative by Tarragindi resident Renae McBrien, is accessible 24 hours a day and collected regularly. Ms McBrien’s team brings these broken or popped items to PLOYS, an initiative that repurposes old stuff into trendy bags, backpacks, smartphone cases, pouches or wallets to promote recycling and achieve zero waste.   

Photo Credit: PLOYS/Facebook

At the end of December 2020, Ms McBrien was able to collect a substantial number of recyclables that were taken to PLOYS’ Bundaberg site, where the items will be cleaned, repaired and sewn to become new products. 

Incidentally, PLOYS celebrated its first year of operation on 9 Jan 2021 with a price cut on its online eco-friendly items.

Ms McBrien is a radiographer, horticultural therapist and consultant on community gardening and recycling. She has been instrumental in helping Brisbane hospitals adopt smarter recycling methods.

“We have a responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of the health care service and to improve our hospital environments to increase our wellbeing and connection with nature,” Ms McBrien said.

The Council has recognised Ms McBrien’s contribution by awarding her the Waste Innovation 2019 award. She was also honoured with an International Woman of the Year citation and a Planetree Kindness Award in recent years.

Photo Credit: Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner/Facebook