Cardiff Harbour Authority (CHA) in partnership with local recycling organisation RPC bpi recycled products and Eventclean, has today welcomed Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn AM to unveil some innovative new seating for Cardiff Bay Barrage.
Four new Plaswood benches have been produced as a result of recycling plastic film collected from the Cardiff stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race earlier this summer, an internationally elite sailing event which aims to raise awareness and take action against ocean plastic pollution.
During the event over 280kg of plastic film was collected and taken to RPC bpi recycled products’ facility in Rhymney, South Wales. It was then sorted, washed and made into plastic pellets ready for re-manufacture into second-life products, such as refuse sacks and plastic furniture, as part of the Plaswood product range.
Plastic film can be difficult to recycle via normal streams, as it is often rejected by standard municipal waste sorting facilities.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “Cardiff is a lead city for hosting major events and it is equally important that we lead in sustainability and minimising our plastic footprint during such events. These benches represent best practice for recycling and show Cardiff’s commitment to support the fight against single-use plastic.
“Recycling will continue to be a priority at future events, for example we will be working again with RPC bpi who will be responsible for recycling the plastic film produced at Cardiff Harbour Festival hosts Extreme Sailing Series™, which is taking place in Cardiff Bay from 25-27 August.”
Director of Eventclean, Marc Fowkes, said: “We are delighted that the benches will be situated in a public place near the event site, as they mark the fact that the plastic film was recycled and turned into furniture. Hopefully the initiative will encourage recycling in the future.”
Hannah Blythyn said: “The Volvo Ocean Race stopping in Cardiff was a major event for the city. It also promoted initiatives to cut down on single-use plastics, such as my aim to provide water refill points in key communities along the Wales Coast Path.
“We should be very proud in Wales that we’re not only the top nation in the UK for recycling, we’re one of the best in the World. We need to continue to build on this and find ways to innovate, and the benches are an excellent example of how single-use plastics can be reused to benefit the community.”
Featuring a bilingual engraving: ‘Made from plastic film collected at the Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff Stopover’, the four benches will take pride of place near the children’s play area on Cardiff Bay Barrage.