The 100% recyclable plastic wheel for municipal wheelie bins was developed by Mpact Plastic Containers, thereby replacing the traditional rubber wheel with a 100% recyclable wheel.

The recyclable Wheelie Bin project emerged from the global concept of having a circular approach to products, components, and materials in the economy whereby recycled material is used to manufacture new products.

“Rubber from the old end-of-life rubber wheels went to our already overflowing landfill sites. Millions of end-of-life tyres are currently either being disposed of or illegally dumped, with only small amounts being recycled. It was important therefore to create an alternative to the rubber wheel to overcome this challenge,” says Lance Kallis, Environmental Manager of Mpact Plastic Containers.

Rubber takes between 50 to 80 years to decompose. As the population increases, and we use more products, we need to ask ourselves, is our planet equipped to handle the increasing amount of rubber waste?

Municipalities are large consumers of goods and are therefore well placed to drive circularity at scale. They are able to procure in a responsible manner, thereby meeting their constitutional mandate by purchasing products that are made of recycled materials. By procuring recyclable products, these metros are able to divert waste from landfills, develop end-markets for plastic recyclers, secure offtakes to their own bin waste and create sustainable employment.

The circular process begins with new plastic wheels being manufactured locally at Mpact Plastic Containers. Once complete, the bins are then assessed by the quality department and delivered to the customer for use. When the bin reaches end-of-life, it can also be returned and recycled into new products. In this way, both the bins and wheels are turned into new products.

Mpact Plastic Containers have succeeded in creating a closed-loop system through this innovative solution. The business collects damaged and condemned bins, then exchanges these for new bins. The condemned bins have to be identifiable as locally manufactured from HDPE and free of oil and waste.

The 240-litre Wheelie Bin is designed for industrial, household and hospitality use. It features a specially designed rim flange for mechanical lifting and decanting; and can withstand the rigours of this handling. The bin is designed to be shock-absorbent, resistant to chemical attack and will withstand the extreme and frequent temperature variations experienced in South Africa.