Joint Communique 

From DG Wayne Milnes (9465); DG Graham Peden (9455); Darren Lomman CEO & FounderGreenbatch.
Rotary, the Environment and New Generations
In 2015 the Board of Rotary International (RI) announced an Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG) to help protect and sustain our planet’s environment for present and future generations. Last year RI President Ian Riseley made environmental sustainability a major focus for his year, and each of The Rotary Foundation’s areas of focus now includes aspects of environmental sustainability. June 2019’s Hamburg RI convention put environmental projects on display as Rotarians focused on cleaning up plastic waste, protecting our vital resources.
We know that many young people are driven by causes, and the environment and plastic pollution is often on top of the list. We are now seeing state and national political recognition of this. By Rotary working on this issue, we not only can do some good in the world, and leverage the public image potential of its popularity, but also potentially attract a new wave of people to join us.
Container Deposit Scheme - Potential
This year the WA government passed legislation to introduce a 10c Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), which starts on 2 June 2020. From experience in other Australian states with a CDS, this will increase collection rates of beverage containers to approximately 70%.
With an estimated 1.6 billion eligible containers sold annually in WA, each becoming worth 10c, the CDS generates a potential $160m annual collection opportunity. Many of these beverage containers will be donated to community groups who can then collect the refund; a significant fundraising opportunity for groups like Rotary, especially if mobilised early, getting donation bins into places with high collection volume potential.
Greenbatch Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation and is Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) registered, with an independent board overseeing governance and operations. Greenbatch Foundation is focussed on community collections through education, engagement and empowerment. Its activities include the establishment of a dedicated recycling education facility in Mount Claremont, and a schools recycling program targeting 300 schools by June 2020.
Greenbatch Processing will be WA’s first waste plastic processing plant, capturing the local plastic waste market. Greenbatch Foundation operates independently of the Greenbatch Processing with separate governance structures.
Collaborative Opportunity with Schools and General Community etc
Collectively Rotary members possess a diverse range of skills and contacts across schools, businesses, and local communities. Working together with Greenbatch Foundation as a collaborative partnership, the waste plastic problem in Western Australia can be addressed and improve community engagement to change behaviours.
Greenbatch Foundation is creating a plastics recycling education centre in Mount Claremont, located in buildings provided by the University of Western Australia. Rotary has been asked to become a funding partner in this initiative with UWA and the state’s Waste Wise program. To access this, Rotary needs to raise $150,000 by 30 November 2019.
Rotary in Western Australia, as then a founding partner, will have Rotary branding, media and community engagement opportunities, as well as the potential to raise funds through the CDS program.
Should we not meet the minimum target of support from the Rotary community to back this project by 30 November 2019 all club funds received will be returned to clubs, and Rotary will step away from this opportunity so that Greenbatch can partner with another community service organisation on this collections partnership and schools program.
Coordination Group
To facilitate implementation, and help identify programs and projects relevant to Rotary, schools and their communities, an interim Rotary-Greenbatch coordination team will be created immediately. This team will identify common issues relevant to clubs, schools and their communities rolling-out this relationship, develop model arrangements, and set-up a representative oversight group longer term. That group will have representation from participating clubs, including Rotaract from both districts, metropolitan and regional and representatives of both District Governors.
Local Community & Business Collection Opportunity
Clubs wishing to roll out collection bins in their local community will enter into a model agreement between the club and Greenbatch Foundation on a club-by-club level. These models are being developed by the coordination team, based on trials at existing and impending pilot sites.
Club or Member Interest?
For further information, or to pledge your support, please contact the Rotary-Greenbatch Coordination Group on