Oberon Waste to Art competition: Year of Baling Twine and Strapping

CLEVER: Oberon's Waste to Art competition will be held in May. Pictured is Gay Chan with her shopping bag made from strapping.

CLEVER: Oberon's Waste to Art competition will be held in May. Pictured is Gay Chan with her shopping bag made from strapping.

Oberon's Waste to Art competition will be held from May 15 to May 18 at the Oberon Community Centre. Over the holiday break it may be a good time to start on your artwork.

In 2019 it's the "Year of Baling Twine and Strapping".

Did you imagine that over 100,000 tonnes of plastic goes into Australian farms every year?  And an essential but accumulating product is baling twine.

Most of the baling twine used in rural areas ends up in landfill, accumulates on landowners’ properties or is burned.

It is unsafe to burn the polypropylene twine due to the toxic fumes emitted. It can be an eyesore in tourist areas, and finds its way into waterways and chokes birds and animals and marine life.


Councils from Kiama to the Southern Grampians are now introducing a scheme to collect and manage farm plastic. Under the scheme, called Plasback, the twine is collected in special bags and shredded.

Then there is the strapping - industrial complexes remove tons of it from their packaging. 

Meanwhile, your local Waste to Art competition in Oberon in May would like to see you produce multi-use shopping bags, baskets, quirky animals, and a host of other products from the twine and strapping.

On the internet, look up sites such as 'Crafts to Make from Baling Twine, Urban Farming' and strapping craft ideas on Pinterest. This is the challenge for 2019 - but any medium can be turned into art or useful items and entered in the competition.

There were 80 entries in 2018, including those in other media such as fashionable bags made from scraps of fabric, glass jars recycled into water display containers and an egg carton mobile. Oberon has been a long-time supporter of Waste to Art, supported by Friends of Oberon Library, so the news that the Regional Waste to Art Exhibition will be held in Oberon in 2019 has been welcomed.

The organiser of the exhibition, Netwaste, has accepted the offer of the revived Malachi Gilmore Hall as an ideal location for the exhibition from July 29 to August 17. Centrally located in town, it will bring visitors of all ages from council areas across the west of the state to view the best recycling, craft and creative entries chosen from their local exhibitions.

The vision for the Malachi Gilmore Hall in 1937 was for it to be a vibrant and versatile space for the Oberon community where local art, culture and community can be displayed and celebrated. New owners Lucy and John East have already started the ball rolling again with recent celebrations.

Oberon Library has a collection box for baling twine and strapping - take yours in or help yourself to construct your entry. FOOLs co-ordinates the running of the local exhibition on behalf of Oberon Council staff.