HANDS FULL: Tracy Kemp is the Ipswich town co-ordinator in Ipswich for Lids4Kids, which collects bottle caps that are turned into prosthetic limbs for kids.
HANDS FULL: Tracy Kemp is the Ipswich town co-ordinator in Ipswich for Lids4Kids, which collects bottle caps that are turned into prosthetic limbs for kids. Cordell Richardson

How a humble lid is turned into prosthetics for kids

AN IPSWICH disability and aged care sector worker who backed a cause that resonated strongly with her says she has been overwhelmed by the backing of her community.

Tracy Kemp is the town co-ordinator for Lids 4 Kids, which was started by Canberra father Tim Miller to find a use for bottle tops he couldn't recycle.

Not-for-profit organisation Envision turns the lids into prosthetics for child amputees as part of its Envision Hands project.

Support for the initiative across Australia has grown so much the charity had to ask co-ordinators like Ms Kemp to stop sending in lids as they were overwhelmed by the sheer number submitted.

Ms Kemp said she had about 10,000 lids ready to go and about five times that in the washing, drying and sorting process.

She has organised a network of people to help sort through the lids and a number of businesses, individuals, schools and politicians had set themselves up as collection points.

For now, she will stockpile them until they're required.

It takes about 1000 lids to make a prosthetic after they are put through a shredder and it is turned into a filament, to be put through a 3D printer.

"It ticks three big boxes," she said.

"It prevents recycled bottles going into landfill, the organisation that receives the plastics employs people with disabilities and provides the end product, which is a prosthetic limb, to children free of charge.

"Ipswich has really come on board. It's mad. People have been volunteering to help me with washing and storing them."

Ms Kemp said her garage had been taken over to serve as a storeroom and she commits about 10 hours a week to the cause on top of her work in disability and aged care.

"A lot of it is combined with my social life... my friends come for coffee and I say 'do you want to sort some lids'," she laughed.

"I put them to work. (Envision) are going to try and put something up here in south east Queensland instead of sending them down to Victoria. There's just so many, hopefully we can get something sent up here."

Collection points:

The Yard on Glebe - 1/176 Glebe Rd, Booval

McDonald's - Hamilton St, Booval

Booval Newsagent - 38 South Station Rd, Booval

Sun Doctors - Booval Fair

McDonald's - Hunter St, Brassall

Brassall Chuldcare Centre - 4 Clem St, Brassall

Early Bird Childhood and Learning Centre - 99 Haig St, Brassall

Jim Madden MP's office - Brassall Shopping Centre

McDonald's - 97 Limestone St, Ipswich

Chapters Book Shop, Cafe and Wine Bar - Shop 10, Junction Rd, Karalee

River 949 - Hill St, North Ipswich

Lavish Beauty Salon - 2/49 Downs St, North Ipswich

Raceview Scouts - 32 Taylor St, Eastern Heights

Redbank Plains Child Care Children's Centre - 277-281 Henty Dr, Redbank Plains

The Coffee Club - Riverlink

Rosewood and District Community Bank Branch - 30 John St, Rosewood

Roderick St Community Kindergarten - 4 Cribb St, Sadliers Crossing