The first retailer to recycle Sani-touch’s sanitising wipes, Shoprite is now closing the loop and creating a circular economy. The first eco-friendly jungle gym made from its recycled wipes was donated to Qedusizi Day Care Centre in Brakpan earlier this week.
This is the culmination of a long journey to ensure that its used wipes are recycled, reveals Sani-touch Marketing Director. “Creating a circular economy is about more than just sending products to recyclers. Although recyclers are an important part of the process, the reality is that they are only part of the process. Our goal is to ensure that Sani-touch’s wipes don’t end up in landfill but instead get recycled and manufactured into a bench, jungle gym or pallet that can be used over and over again. Locally-sourced polypropylene – the material that our wipes are manufactured from – are 100% recyclable. This means that, if necessary, the wipes can be recycled many times, each time being remoulded into a brand-new product, creating a virtuous circle.”
The jungle gym donated to Qedusizi Day Care Centre was manufactured by Hudson Diphofa (33), an entrepreneur who operates his business from his home in Katlehong. Having worked in the sustainable manufacturing field for more than five years, Diphofa established Structural Poly Plastic Furniture & Project in 2020 after he was retrenched because of the Covid-19 pandemic. His business
uses recycled material to manufacture outdoor furniture products.
“We’re not only looking to build awareness but also a shift to destroy the idea that waste is garbage – waste is simply raw material that can be used to create a variety of reusable products,” says Diphofa.
Sanjeev Raghubir, Sustainability Manager for the Shoprite Group, says, “This innovative initiative is a wonderful example of how recycling has the power to breathe new life into old things and help protect our environment. While it significantly reduces waste it facilitates a circular economy by using recycled single-use wipes to create durable and reusable jungle gyms, benches and other outdoor furniture.”
Businesses can no longer to afford to pay only lip service to the concept of recycling or wait for legislation to apply to them, maintains Devenish. “We all have to step up and play our part to ensure that used products are recycled, repurposed and become part of a sustainable system. Together we can make a difference to create a better world.”