Bumper beds scoop recycling prize
Making bed bases from old car bumpers turned out to be anything but a rubbish idea for two industry veterans - their innovation has been named Best Recycled Product of the Year.
Graham Coleman and Gianni Nosenzo of Cycliq in Wadeville‚ Johannesburg‚ were more familiar than most with traditional bed bases - heavy‚ cumbersome things made from wood - and set out to totally reinvent the household staple.
The result‚ after much trial and error‚ is the Space Base‚ made from recycled polypropylene in the form of “end-of-life automotive components” - mainly car bumpers.
Weighing just 19kg‚ the double base folds up into a quarter of the space of a traditional bed base‚ making it far easier to move and store. And ideal for exporting too - it’s currently finding a market in Australia and the Dominican Republic.
Their plant produces about 3‚500 of the black bases per month‚ but has the capacity to double that.
“The Space Base is a true example of a new product designed and marketed using the cost benefits of recycled material while maintaining the product’s credibility‚” said Annabe Pretorius from the SA Plastics Recycling Organisation at a lavish award ceremony in Johannesburg on Friday night.
The judging criteria included consumer acceptance of the product and the extent to which it reduces the amount of plastic ending up in landfills.
Winners in the other categories were:
-Novel and artistic products made from discarded plastic products: The Street Sleeper‚ a Cape Town initiative that makes “survival” sleeping bags from plastic billboards and donates them to the homeless. The bags are extra long‚ allowing the owner to safely store their belongings at their feet while asleep.
-Products made from mixed materials: Greenlite blocks‚ a mix of cement and recycled polystyrene - mostly discarded fast food containers - the blocks have been used to build both low cost houses and mansions‚ offering “astounding” sound insulation.
-Products containing a percentage post-consumer recyclate: The 10-litre Addis watering can. Last year more than 100‚000 of them were bought as sales were boosted by the drought‚ keeping about 58 tons of plastic material from landfills.
*Wendy Knowler was a member of the judging panel.