Waste being turned into prosthetic hands

A Sunshine Coast firm is producing a life-changing product from recycled plastic shampoo bottles that would have ended up in landfill.

Waste Free Systems at Moffat Beach, is believed to be the first business in the world to turn used shampoo bottles into life-changing prosthetic hands.

With over 40 years experience in the hairdressing industry, CEO of Waste Free Systems Bernie Craven and his wife Leanne, along with around 45 hair salons from across the country have saved thousands of plastic hair care bottles from ending up in landfill since the business' 2016 inception.

"A lot of hairdressers know they need to do something to minimise waste but they just don't know what to do," Mr Craven said.

Waste warrior: Bernie Craven of Waste Free Systems.
Waste warrior: Bernie Craven of Waste Free Systems.

"With the current system about 50 per cent of waste (from salons) goes to landfill."

After consulting with medical professionals and university students from around the country- including a Robotics and Design student from the University of Queensland- Mr Craven now re-purposes the plastic bottles, using them to create 3D printed prosthetic hands which he gives away for free.

"We have made about six prosthetics so far … four of those are half arms," Mr Craven said.

"It's about how to help others and create change for people."

Mr Craven said his self-funded business was doing an excellent job at helping the environment, however stressed the need for change in legislation to allow like-minded business' to do the same.

"You don't have to look far to see the impact of plastics on the environment … legislation needs to be changed to help introduce better waste management procedures."