Popular daily television programme the BBC One Show has been exploring car seat recycling, sending a film crew to visit JMDA Design’s head office in Pershore, Worcestershire.
BBC presenter and record-breaking athlete Iwan Thomas took the time to interview JDMA’s Derrick Barker, exploring what has motivated the company to dismantle its own car seats for recycling, while also looking at the possibilities of an industry-wide solution.
JMDA’s car seat recycling campaign – both to raise awareness and to find a practical and commercial solution to tackle the global problem – first started over 18 months ago.
The BBC film crew visited JMDA on Monday 10 February to find out the story so far and what could be done. The feature aired on the BBC One Show on Monday 2 March and can be seen now on iPlayer.
After interviewing consumers in the local area, filming began at JMDA’s storage units, explaining why child car seats are so hard to recycle and why a scheme is not already in place. The interview saw Derrick explaining how staff at JMDA tried to dismantle the car seats themselves, which could take up to a day, mainly because of the rigid structure but also of the complex mixture of materials.
“It’s not a question of whether or not car seats can be recycled,” said Derrick. “We’ve already proven that with our trial last year by placing car seats into scrap cars, which were then passed through an industrial shredder. The material can then easily be separated in this way and then recycled or incinerated to provide energy.”
He continued: “The biggest hurdle is moving used car seats from collection points across the country to processing plants for shredding. Obviously, there is a cost implication in moving the car seats and therefore the logistics are hindered by commercial factors. So who foots the cost of moving them? This is an issue for the whole industry including manufacturers, retailers, waste management and local authorities. JMDA will continue the work already started with the car seat industry to help establish a solution.”
It is estimated that some 2.3 million* child car seats are sold in the UK every year. It’s hoped that with the help of the BBC to increase the awareness and pace to find a way forward, a commercially viable scheme will be found.
For further details about JMDA and their KOOL Recycling campaign click here.
(*Statistics from GFK Market Research)