South Africa generates 50 million tonnes of waste annually. Only a third of that waste is recycled, with the balance disposed of in landfill sites and in the environment. Diverting a greater proportion of waste from landfill has become a national priority with a number of organisations focused on helping to drive a shift to a circular economy. The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) acknowledges products that are made from recycled materials through the SAPRO Best Recycled Plastic Product Awards. The awards recognise innovation and progress made in the plastic recycling industry and encourage brand owners, retailers, converters and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice.
Sani-touch, manufacturers of sanitising products and detergent disinfectants including Saniwipe trolley wipes, was a finalist at this year’s SAPRO Awards in the Household, leisure and consumer category for its plastic bird feeders made from re cycled plastic waste. Entries are judged on a number of criteria including life expectancy, sustain ability, product consistency and the wow factor.
The company is no stranger to the recycling phenomenon. In 2021, Sani-touch, in partnership with retailer Shoprite Checkers, announced an ambitious plan to collect used Saniwipe trolley wipes, as well as the buckets the wipes are supplied in, and send then to various recycling plants for processing.
Sani-touch Marketing Director Annette Devenish explains that prior to 2020, most recyclers would not have considered accepting a low grade flimsy plastic product such as a wipe into their recycling processes. However, after Sani-touch implemented product changes, that changed.
“It took a great deal of cajoling and perseverance, but the effort was well worth it,”
she reveals, adding that almost all of these used wipes are now finding another extended life in the form of a jungle gym, picnic table, bench or a bird feeder.
Sani-touch partnered with Katlehong entrepreneur Hudson Diphofa to repurpose the recycled plastic into outdoor products. Diphofa, who was retrenched in 2020 during the Covid19 pandemic, established Structural Poly Plastics & Projects but initially struggled to find regular customers until he was approached by Sani-touch. His latest product – The Bird Feeder by Hudson – is packed flat to enable easy nationwide distribution.
Hudson Diphofa – Founder of Structural Poly Plastic & Projects
By buying this Bird Feeder, you support a local small business. You also help to complete an environmentally sustainable circular system. This Bird feeder once was a Saniwipes® protecting you from bugs and bacteria lurking on your shopping trolley. Collected and sorted by Shoprite Checkers store staff, it is then recycled, re-purposed by Structural Poly.
Hudson Diphofa started his business after being retrenched in 2020. He now manufactures quality outdoor products such as benches, jungle gyms, tables and other products, extending the life of plastics otherwise too low in quality to re-purpose. Thank you for being part of this journey. For more products made by Hudson visit, structuralpoly.com
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