Joburg school gets desks made out of recycled plastic

School desks are being made out of the recycled caps and labels of plastic bottles; 15 double-seater desks made this way have been donated to an inner city Johannesburg primary school.

Joburg school recycled desks
Tania Krain (left), deputy principal of CityKidz Pre- and Primary School, shakes hands with Chandru Wadhwani, joint managing director of Extrupet (right). Also pictured are several learners. (Images supplied)

Brand South Africa reporter
A class of 30 children at the CityKidz Pre- and Primary School in Johannesburg will start the year with new school desks made out of recycled plastic.

The 15 double-seater school desks were delivered on Friday, 1 December 2017 to the school. They were donated by Extrupet, a PET and HDPE bottle recycling company; Petco, the PET plastic recycling company of South Africa; and Ashith Sodha of self-storage facility Akrara.

PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is best known as the clear plastic used for water and cold drink bottles. HDPE, high-density polyethylene, has several applications, including packaging for foods and cleaners. It is also used for pipe fittings, trays and hinges.

Joburg recycled desks

The desks – which look and feel like wood – are made from the caps and labels of plastic bottles that are recycled at Extrupet. They are almost indestructible, but are also comfortable, low maintenance and portable.

Earlier last year, the 15 double-seater desks were pledged by Extrupet, Petco and Akrara as part of the Joburg City Clean-up. The pledge was made in an effort to combat the shortage of school desks.

Janine Basson, Petco stakeholder relations manager, said the desks met a real need at schools; at the same time, they demonstrated the importance of sustainable waste management and highlighted the great value in so-called “waste” materials in a circular economy.

“Petco believes that schools are a critical platform for promoting the understanding of important waste management principles, such as recycling, among young people and at their homes. This is why we are so proud to be making this donation,” said Chandru Wadhwani, Extrupet joint managing director.

Wadhwani and Basson called on corporates to respond positively and donate similar desks to schools.

Wadhwani said: “Other corporates can make a real and practical contribution to our children’s education and our transition to a circular economy in South Africa by simply donating desks like these to schools. We challenge corporate South Africa to match or exceed these donations.”

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