“We are very supportive”: The new initiative making it easier for parents to recycle car seats
By Livia Gamble
A new government initiative could soon make it easier for parents to recycle their old car seats.
Although car seats are made up of recyclable materials they are unfortunately ineligible for normal recycling pickup.
According to the Metropolitan Waste Resource and Recovery Group, “Over 90 per cent of a typical child car safety seat contains materials that can be recovered and reprocessed when correctly dismantled; this includes rear-facing infant carriers and bases, forward-facing seats and booster seats.”
“But currently there are limited opportunities to recycle child car safety seats in Australia.”
And for safety reasons, passing car seats more than 10 years past the manufacture date on to friends and family members is not recommended – so most end up in a landfill.
The Product Stewardship Act
Car seats play an essential role in keeping your children safe and not having one just isn’t an option. This leaves many parents seeking a better way to dispose of their car seats once they no longer have a use for them.
Thankfully the government, along with major car seat manufacturers in Australia, have announced they are working together on a solution.
In November, the Federal Government announced that it wanted to add car seats to the Product Stewardship Act.
You may already be familiar with the Act, which currently includes products like batteries, industrial oil and old televisions. It also commits manufacturers to take part in creating a solution for the products natural end of life.
“We are very supportive”
Equilibrium is an environment and sustainability management company leading the product stewardship. Last week, they signed up all three major car seat manufacturers – Britax, Infasecure and Dorel – in Australia for the product stewardship scheme, which is an excellent step in the right direction.
Britax managing director Dirk Voller told the ABC they “are very supportive” of the scheme.
“We feel this should not be limited to baby car seats and capsules but cover all product categories, including wheel goods such as prams, strollers and other related nursery products,” he said.
Both Britax and Infasecure told the publication they are working on product designs to make recycling car seats easier.
So what can you do in the meantime?
So while we eagerly await more news about how to recycle car seats, here’s what you can do in the meantime.
One option is to consider buying a convertible car seat that changes as your child grows and is suitable from 0 to eight months old.
As well as lasting longer and reducing the number of car seats you have to buy, CHOICE says this option also allows “young children to face rearward for longer. They may also be more cost-effective depending on what model you choose.”
When it does come time to dispose of your car seat, Infasecure has a helpful guide for how parents can do it safely. For more information, visit their website.