What do you do with your empty plastic bottles and cans? Do you separate them and put them in correct bins, or do you just throw them away without thinking? Or maybe you collect them by the thousands and use them to fund your dream wedding on an island in the South Pacific…
Amazingly, that’s what an Australian couple decided to do! Leonie Starr and her fiancé Matthew Porter, two 29-year-olds from Queensland, Australia, pledged to recycle 810,000 used bottles and cans in order to pay for the wedding of their dreams on Vanuatu, the idyllic island where they got engaged.
The programme 'Containers for Change'
This stroke of genius came to the couple when they realised how much it would cost to get married surrounded by their family and friends in such an idyllic location: a whopping £81,000. At the same time, the local government of Queensland launched a new waste collection, recycling and removal programme in collaboration with the group EnviroBank, called 'Containers for Change.' From 1 November 2018, big containers for the collection of recyclable rubbish in exchange for money appeared on the streets on Queensland: a full bag is worth around 10p.
'I thought we could actually do it'
In an interview with the news channel ABC, Leonie Starr confided: 'I waited about a year for the programme to come to Queensland. When it was launched, we went around three or four times before we realised that it could pay for our wedding. Once I’d done the calculations, I thought we could actually do it.'
Currently, the couple has collected more than 50,000 bottlesto pay for their wedding, recycling around 10,000 bottles a month. This is still lower than their initial target of 810,000 bottles, but they are far from finished! The couple still has until November to collect the required amount. 'My initial goal was to get as close to 810,000 as possible,' Leonie told the magazine MailOnline.
Tying the knot and saving the planet at the same time: it’s possible!
It must be noted that Leonie and Matthew’s incredible actions for saving the planet have not gone unnoticed. The couple has received a donation of £1000 from their local recycling centre 'Tomra,' which they have spent on flowers and decorations for the ceremony. In the end, this ambitious project is far from easy to pull off and requires incredible levels of motivation. So, does it give you any ideas for funding your own special day?
In any case, we would like to wish the lucky couple good luck for their environmental endeavours, and we hope that their wedding is everything they’ve ever dreamed of!
See more of their incredible journey in the video above!