Earth is about to become a barren wasteland covered in mountains of trash. Are we about to become a Wall-E society? Waste, and particularly plastic waste, is having a major impact on our environment.

Did you know that in Australia, on average, we use 130 kg of plastic per person each year and that only 9% of that is recycled. More frightening still is that up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic finds its way into our waterways and into the ocean. In this ‘STEAM Ahead’ conference, students will participate in a virtual excursion to REPLAS, Australia’s leading mixed recycled plastic manufacturer who provides innovative solutions for plastic waste. Students will then undertake a series of investigations/experiments about plastics, engage with Reef HQ via video conference to learn about the impact of plastics on our oceans, and in particular, on turtles, and undertake a design challenge to create solutions to our waste problem.

High ability students and students with a passion for the environment are encouraged to become part of this program.

Date: Tuesday 8th June 2021
Time: 9am – 3pm
Year Level: 3-4
Venue: Onsite at Ecolinc Science Centre, Bacchus Marsh.
Maximum number per school: 20

Please Email Ecolinc at:

Prior to event: Students watch the film ‘Wall-E’
8:50am: Registration: Schools arrive at Ecolinc
9:15am: Guest Speakers: Replas Environment Centre
by Christie O’Neill: Education Officer at Replas Recycled Plastic Products.
10:15am: Properties of materials sorting activity
10:45am: Morning Tea
11:00am: Investigations/Experiments
12:00pm: Reef HQ – Turtle Connections
1:00pm: Lunch
1:30pm: Design Challenge
2:30pm: Showcase
3:00pm: Conference wrap up and conclusion

Featured Experts

Christie O’Neill:  Education Officer, REPLAS

Christie is the Education Officer for Replas Recycled Plastic Products located in Victoria. Christie completed a Bachelor of Science through Monash University with a double major in Environment Science / Geoscience and honours in Economic Geology. From her degree, Christie developed a keen interest in the environment and sustainability. Christie has 15+ years working in waste management, mostly in the retail sector. She has been running recycling tours at the Replas Environmental Centre for two and a half years now and really enjoys sharing her knowledge on recycling and sustainability with everyone who comes to visit the centre. In her spare time Christie enjoys spending time with her hubby and 2 young boys, camping and (attempting) to grow vegies!