A humble supermarket trolley, which most of us use at least once a week, has been crowned the Best Recycled Product of the Year at the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation’s (SAPRO) biennial competition which took place on 14 October 2021. 

The trolley, manufactured by Supercart SA (Pty) Ltd for Pick n Pay and entered for the Consumer & Leisure category, was made from High Density Polyethylene (PE-HD) and consists of 50 % post-consumer recyclate provided by MyPlas.

Commenting on what impressed the judges the most about the trolley, SAPRO General Manager Phil Sereme said: “Large, everyday articles that are well-made promote recycling in the best possible manner. Plastics need all the help they can get to remove the discomfort consumers associate with recycled products and the trolley goes a long way in achieving that.  PE-HD is fully recycled in South Africa and large mouldings are particularly popular for recycling. It opens up the way for retailers to demonstrate circularity in an everyday product.

“I don’t think people will ever look at their supermarket trolley in the same way again. Once you understand the large amount of effort that MyPlas has put into collecting and recycling the plastics used to produce this trolley, combined with the innovation and manufacturing expertise of the Supercart team, you start to appreciate the rich tapestry of hard work that makes each trolley a work of art!” Phil expressed.

Wide scope and variety of entries

Despite it being a virtual event, this year’s competition once again attracted entries from around the country and representing a wide range of different industries and end-uses. 

“The judges were very impressed with the wide range of different products that were entered from around the country. Ranging from skirting board, dado rails and air conditioner ducts, to water tanks, household cleaning bottles, school desks, rat traps and owl houses, this year’s products that were entered showed that the only limit to the use of recycled plastic, is your imagination,” Phil says. 

The 2021 SAPRO awards had various new categories in which entries could be submitted. Products were judged on a number of criteria, including life expectancy and sustainability of product, measures that were taken to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction despite recycled material content, tonnages (or potential tonnages) of plastic waste that were converted and diverted from landfill, as well as the technical achievements in manufacturing to overcome recycled material challenges.

“The judges were looking for products that created new end-markets for recyclate and that would continue to be in demand five years from now. We can honestly say that all the products entered for this year’s competition had a “Wow factor” that will cause people to start thinking differently about recycled material,” Phil expounds. 

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