The Space Base bed base from Cycliq won the SAPRO ‘Recycled Product of the Year’ Award. It weighs considerably less than the wooden option at 19kgs, can fold up into about a quarter of the size and, not surprisingly, is proving popular
MAKING bed bases from old car bumpers turned out to be anything but a rubbish idea for Graham Coleman and Gianni Nosenzo of Cycliq, two veterans of the bedding industry whose innovative ‘Space Base’ bed base was awarded the SAPRO Trophy for the Best Recycled Product of the Year recently.
The SAPRO awards were presented at the organisation’s 6th biennial awards ceremony at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on National Recycling Day, Friday 15 September.
This year’s lavish dinner was hosted in partnership with platinum sponsors Erema Plastic Recycling Systems and Polyco, the Polyolefin Product Recovery Organisation.
According to Rudi Johannes, chairman of SAPRO (the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation), products entered for this year’s competition showcased a tremendous amount of ingenuity and creativity, despite the fact that plastics recycling in South Africa is under threat.
“The past few years have not been easy for our recyclers. Virgin polymer prices are very low and operating costs have increased as a result of higher fuel prices, increased energy and labour costs. To add insult to injury, we have seen traditional markets for recyclate reach saturation. The public expects recyclers to take any plastic product at no charge and turn it into a perfect raw material that will solve the world’s energy crisis and change litter habits,” said Johannes.
This year’s competition had five product categories, namely
Entries were received from around South Africa, but eventually the judges selected 23 products as finalists that best met their criteria. The judging criteria included life expectancy of the product; sustainability or long-term demand and market acceptance of product; measures taken to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction despite recycled material content; tonnage or potential tonnage of plastics that were converted and therefore diverted from landfill; technical achievements in manufacturing to overcome recycled material challenges; replacement of alternative materials; originality of design and the care and pride with which the product was manufactured.
“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‚” Johannes says, adding that the judges were impressed by the product’s consumer acceptance and the extent to which it reduces the amount of plastic ending up in landfills.
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, store, re-assemble or export to countries such as Australia and the Dominican Republic, where the market is burgeoning. Locally, Cycliq produces about 3500 of the black bases per month at its plant in Wadeville‚ but has the capacity to double that.
“After much trial and error and having to overcome numerous obstacles, Cycliq has managed to totally reinvent the household staple that was traditionally heavy‚ cumbersome and usually made out of wood by using recycled polypropylene in the form of end-of-life automotive components, mainly car bumpers,” disclosed Colman.
Other products that received awards
Other winners in the various categories included:
“We see more and more materials are becoming available for recycling as collectors and waste pickers recognize recycling as a major income generator. However, for the first time in the four decades of successful recycling in South Africa, we are experiencing a bottleneck on the demand side. The Best Recycled Product of the Year Awards plays an important role in educating and encouraging brand owners and product designer to include recycled content in everyday plastics products and components in order to generate ongoing demand for recyclate and to reduce the pressure on non-renewable resources,” said Johannes.
“It was hugely encouraging to see how plastics recyclers, convertors, product designers and innovators managed to come up with new and innovative solutions that use post-consumer, recycled plastic to provide a solution to everyday problems and we look forward to seeing even more entries in our next competition in 2019,” he concluded.
For more information, visit the SAPRO website on www.plasticsrecycling.co.za