Used Sani-touch wipes repurposed into 100% recycled playground equipment

Sani-touch’s used pre-saturated sanitising trolley wipes have been recycled and repurposed into jungle gyms, benches and other outdoor furniture, in support of a circular economy.

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 in April to Qedusizi Day Care Centre in Brakpan, Gauteng.

According to Annette Devenish, marketing director of Sani-touch, this is the culmination of a long journey to ensure that its used wipes are recycled.

While the initiative 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

Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group

“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,” says Devenish.

Locally-sourced polypropylene, the material used to manufacture Sani-touch wipes, is 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.

Changing perceptions on waste

Qedusizi Day Care Centre is the beneficiary of first eco-friendly jungle gym made from recycled Sani-touch wipes

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 the Structural Poly Plastic Furniture & Project in 2020 after he was retrenched due 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 a raw material that can be used to create a variety of reusable products,” says Diphofa.

Sanjeev Raghubir, sustainability manager, Shoprite Group, says: “This innovative initiative is a wonderful example of how recycling has the power to breathe new life into old things and to help protect our environment. While the initiative 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.

“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,” Devenish adds.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za