SeatSmart is a child car seat recycling programme, developed by 3R Group.
The voluntary product stewardship scheme was developed to divert the estimated 40,000 expired car seats (of which 94 per cent are recyclable) from landfill to recycling every year and raise awareness around car seat expiry.
In 2015 a pilot programme that included drop off points was trialled in Auckland, Hastings, Hamilton and Nelson and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. To date SeatSmart has diverted more than 1,600 seats from landfill.
The success of SeatSmart comes from its collaborative approach: the programme involves consumers, councils, recyclers, manufacturers and retailers, all playing important roles in the cycle. SeatSmart also works with local Corrections work programmes, enlisting the help of offenders to dismantle the seats, providing them with meaningful work.
3R Group is a finalist in the Mega Efficiency Innovation category of the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.