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28 JAN 2023

Kids are helping kids through a Little Wings recycling partnership

School students in NSW are recycling using Return and Earn to help seriously ill kids in rural and regional areas.

The fundraising initiative is organised by not-for-profit Little Wings to help fund safe flight and ground transport services they provide for sick children and their families.

Little Wings CEO Clare Pearson said through providing this transport the charity assists the children to access specialised medical services and treatments that are only available in major cities or towns. “We support families by easing the financial burden, emotional strain and travel fatigue they face to access vital medical treatment,” she said.

Students collect empty bottles and cans to recycle with Return and Earn. With a 10c refund for each container, Clare said every 20 bottles puts a litre of fuel in a plane.

“A lot of kids count how many litres they have put in. It’s an achievable goal that allows all students to make a measurable difference,” said Clare. “When a school has funded a full flight, we let them know.”

“The benefits are threefold for us. Our goal is to help children, and to help the planet. Recycling containers like this helps us raise awareness as well as funds for Little Wings,” Clare said. “We love the concept of kids helping kids. Every person, every child, can help others in a really simple and proactive way.”

As an organisation, Clare said they became very aware of doing their bit for the environment. “We rely on the planes and we can’t change that, but we’re looking at ways to balance impacts out,” she said.

As well as working with six schools across the state – and hoping to expand to involve many more – Little Wings encourages businesses or other organisations who want to help to get in touch. Clare says they also have support from an aged care facility and a dental practice that collect containers for the charity.

To find out more or get involved with Little Wings, see

To find your nearest return point, visit our return points map.

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway.