It started with too much plastic and a 10-year-old complaining he had nowhere to park his push-scooter at school. It led to an eco-friendly solution which is green in more ways than one.
Printer company Ricoh New Zealand has collaborated with Christchurch-based Plastech Industries to build 'Scooter Docks' with the plastic from recycled toner cartridges.
Ricoh New Zealand's marketing manager, Murray Clark, came up with the idea after his wife, a primary school teacher, and son complained about students leaving scooters scattered everywhere.
Clark wanted to come up with a solution which used recycled plastic, as Ricoh had successfully used this to build a park bench.
He then worked on designing and refining a prototype until he had created a workable solution.
Ricoh - a member of the Sustainable Business Council which has recently become part of Business NZ - collaborated with Christchurch-based Plastech Industries, which said combining recycled and new plastic would create a functional and durable final product.
Now completed, the docks offer schools a practical affordable option, which Clark said was aligned with Ricoh's focus on corporate social responsibility and business sustainability.
"Not only does it solve a very real problem, it's also an ideal way for us to have our plastic waste recycled and put to such good use here in New Zealand."
So far 4000 docks have been produced. Half of these have been sold or donated to schools. Schools can then use these in fundraisers or sell on to parents.
“Based on our funding plan, for every Ricoh scooter dock a school sells they will be able to fund the purchase of another or they could use the scheme as a general fundraiser to help fund other projects.”
Clark said the company is currently working with a distributor to sell the docks through retailers.
- © Fairfax NZ News