Car seat suppliers Maxi-Cosi and JDMA Design have answered a number of car seat recyclability concerns which were raised in an article published yesterday on the BBC News website.
According to the article, Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, has said that it has so far proved difficult for manufacturers to create a fully recyclable car seat while still protecting the safety of the child.
The article also said: ‘Car seats are hard to recycle because they are made of a mixture of materials – rigid plastic, metal and fabric – strongly bonded together to withstand high impacts. It may be possible to manually dismantle them to remove their separate recyclable elements – but this takes a lot time and effort.’
The article spoke to Worcestershire-based car seat design firm JMDA, which spearheaded a recycling scheme in March last year where car seats were broken down into different recyclable materials. Attempts to roll out this idea nationally have run into barriers due to difficulties over ‘commercial viability’.
The firm’s creative and managing director, Derrick Barker, says: “If the retailer doesn’t save some money, they won’t change their system and if the recycling firm doesn’t make some money, they won’t go and collect it, so you sit in this deadlock situation.”
He believes the answer is for the government to require all child car seats to be recycled, forcing manufacturers and council waste disposal contractors to make proper plans for how this should happen.
“At Maxi-Cosi, recycling is important to us and our customer care department is frequently asked about our policy on this,” said Ivan McCullough, QA and product development manager at Maxi-Cosi.
“The great news is that our car seats can be recycled. When a product has come to the end of its use, consumers can take their car seat to their local recycling centre, where they will break it down into separate components and recycle each part separately.”
“As a company we do all we can to avoid disposing of products in a landfill,” continued Ivan. “Any excess stock or returns that are saleable (unused and have not been in an accident) will go onto our eBay site to be re-sold.”
“We also employ a recycling company that breaks down anything that cannot go onto eBay and disposes of the items as a recycling centre would. All processes are carefully considered to ensure that we are doing all we can to help protect the environment.”