NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Plastic guards get recycled

Plastic guards get recycled

NZ Truck & Driver News

 May 2021   

A collaboration between New Zealand manufacturers and transport operators will save hundreds of plastic truck mudguards from going to landfill this year.

The project, led by truck and trailer manufacturer Rhino Manufacturing in Rotorua, will see the company’s used mudguards repurposed as NZ’s first recycled plastic truck mudguards. It says that the recycled units perform well in terms of strength and colour consistency, and meet the necessary industry requirements. 

Rhino Manfuacturing GM Will Samuel says the project has taken a year from initial concept, through prototypes, to hitting the road on trucks across the country: “We are absolutely thrilled with the development of this innovative and sustainable product that will go some way to helping the freight industry reduce its carbon emissions. 

“It’s a really small step, but it’s an important one...and it goes to show how a bit of creative thinking can start making a difference.

“It’s also a cost-effective solution for trucking companies, as the recycled mudguards are the same price as new guards. 

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A collaboration between New Zealand manufacturers and transport operators will save hundreds of plastic truck mudguards from going to landfill this year.

The project, led by truck and trailer manufacturer Rhino Manufacturing in Rotorua, will see the company’s used mudguards repurposed as NZ’s first recycled plastic truck mudguards. It says that the recycled units perform well in terms of strength and colour consistency, and meet the necessary industry requirements. 

Rhino Manfuacturing GM Will Samuel says the project has taken a year from initial concept, through prototypes, to hitting the road on trucks across the country: “We are absolutely thrilled with the development of this innovative and sustainable product that will go some way to helping the freight industry reduce its carbon emissions. 

“It’s a really small step, but it’s an important one...and it goes to show how a bit of creative thinking can start making a difference.

“It’s also a cost-effective solution for trucking companies, as the recycled mudguards are the same price as new guards. 

“We’ve been blown away by the support and feedback from the industry and believe that this is just the start of the potential for this product and process,” he adds.

The first operator to use the recycled guards is TR Group. National sales manager Shane O’Grady says that TR has a strong commitment to sustainability and the recycled mudguards are a “no-brainer: We are always looking for innovative solutions to help us reduce waste and Rhino has really stepped up to the plate. 

“We are also returning our own used guards for recycling so it’s great to see the finished product back on our trucks, having come full circle.” 

Fonterra is one of the largest contributors to the recycling effort – with hundreds of milktankers on the road and over a dozen mudguards on each one...and has been a key partner in getting the product off the ground. 

Fonterra national parts and warranty manager Guy Cooper says Fonterra had started looking at its own recycling options, but found the Rhino scheme fitted ideally: “We liked the fact that we know our old guards are being completely repurposed for the same purpose. It’s a great example of a circular economy.” 

Vision Plastics manages the supply of plastic and the recycling process and GM Steve Lewis says though plastics can sometimes unjustly get a bad name, the project demonstrates that companies can cost-effectively achieve environmental benefits.

Trucking companies can return their used Rhino guards for no charge and shipping may also be covered, depending on proximity to specialist plastic recycling centres.  


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