Newsletter Issue Number:
AICCM National Newsletter No 147 September 2019
Jeffrey Fox and Lucilla Ronai

Here at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) we are not just about sustainability of our oceans and waterways, we think about landlubbers too. With sustainability being a part of our world, there are ways we can reduce what we throw away to prevent more material going into landfill. Our Conservation Section has started some sustainable initiatives.

Polyethylene foam

Do you throw away your polyethylene foam offcuts? Do you know you don’t have to?

Jeff Fox and Sue Frost have recently started putting an old blender to use and are chopping up offcuts of polyethylene foam that would normally be thrown away. These chopped up pieces of foam make a great sustainable and conservation-grade filling for cotton or Tyvek® cushions and pillows. These cushions and pillows give good contact and support to 3D objects when in storage or on display.

Remember to use PPE (i.e. eyewear and masks) and air extraction (fume hood / elephant trunk) when chopping up the foam – the dust and fibres go everywhere.

We have a foam recycling box to gather up all the offcuts.

Jeff Fox chopping up offcuts of polyethylene foam using a blender.

Chopped up recycled foam ready to be using for a cushion or pillow filling.

Foam recycling box, chopped up foam and the blender—all you need to create your own sustainable, conservation-grade cushions!


Plastic gloves

Recycling corner in the ANMM Conservation Lab—gloves and foam!

Next to our foam recycling box is our gloves recycling box (plastic, nitrile and latex). Thanks to the initiative of Katie Wood we now have three recycle bins located around our Conservation and Registration areas. We encourage all departments that wear these gloves to use it. Any gloves that are in contact with hazardous material we deal with separately.

We would love to hear more about sustainable practices you use – please share them with us.