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Young papermakers keen to recycle

Everything old or used was new again at last week’s paper making and papercraft workshop at the TMAG.

Back by popular demand for the Museum’s always well attended school holiday program, the EPA Division’s Annie Beecroft and Maree Bakker provided a vast array of used materials for the three-hour drop in session.

The irrepressible duo pre-made three vats of pulp from old newspaper and office wastepaper and collected an impressive array of additives for decorating the paper. These included dried flowers and leaves, party popper streamers, coloured paper pulps and strands of wool.

And it was to their advantage that they were well-prepared because 60 keen paper makers aged between six and 60 were eager to learn and express their creativity.

Annie said some took a little convincing that the recycled newsprint actually produced an attractive mottled grey- blue base product, but with the addition of their own decorative touches they agreed.

As well as making paper, workshop participants also constructed gift bags, cards and purses from old calendars ,magazines and museum brochures.

"It was a very successful workshop and some families stayed for the full three hours," Annie said.

"One child came with his grandfather and it was lovely to see them sharing the experience, learning and having fun together."

The message to reduce, reuse and recycle was reinforced with a poster that reminded people to avoid buying new paper products, and to instead reuse and recyle wastepapers to make unique, low cost and environmentally friendly decorative paper gifts.

Annie and Maree are keen to continue such activities in the TMAG school holiday program.

A veteran of the program since 2006, Annie said children were particularly receptive to sustainability initiatives through art and craft and because parents also attended, activity sessions were a very effective way to extend the learning about sustainability directly to the home environment.