Benches made from recycled plant pots appear in Wigan parks

New benches have been installed in parks across Wigan made out of plastic plant pots!

Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:10 am

The council and its waste partner, FCC Environment have unveiled the new seating made from pots that were donated to the borough’s three recycling centres.

Last summer FCC Environment, which operates the recycling centres at Kirkless, Slag Lane and Chanters Industrial Estate on behalf of Wigan Council, was noticing a higher than usual amount of used plant pots arriving at the site for recycling so the business set out to look at whether anything could be done with this plethora of pots.

FCC Environments’ area supervisor Tracy Roe said: “We suspected that as a result of lockdown gardening, many residents were planting up their gardens, patios and borders but as a result we were receiving many more used plastic pots than in previous years and we wanted to give these pots a new home.

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New benches have been installed in parks across Wigan made out of plastic plant pots
New benches have been installed in parks across Wigan made out of plastic plant pots

“There is no real market for selling used plant pots and it seems such a shame that items like this effectively become single use plastics so we went on the hunt for alternatives.”

FCC Environment, which collects waste and recycling from some 1.3 million citizens in the UK as well as operating some 100 recycling centres up and down the country for local authority partners, wondered if the plastic pots could be made into something which would benefit the residents of Wigan. And it turns out they could!

Unveiled in Wigan are four park benches made entirely of recycled plastics including the pots that were collected at the centres in Wigan last year.

The benches have been gifted to residents of Wigan by FCC Environment and its partners in this venture, S. Norton and Axion Polymers.

Mark Keenan, business development manager for Axion Polymers, said: “We have been able to manufacture four benches, one each for the four Green Flag parks in Wigan and, along with FCC Environment and S. Norton, we covered the cost of these benches as a gift to the residents of Wigan.”

FCC Environment director Steve Longdon said: “Whilst it never ceases to amaze me what people throw away, it also never ceases to amaze me what can be done with unusable items with a little creative thought. I would like to thank my team at the Wigan recycling centres, with the support of the council and indeed S. Norton and Axion Polymers in completing this circle that sees plants pots put out for recycling, recycled with other waste plastics into park benches which can be enjoyed by residents of Wigan for many years to come.”

Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s director of environment, said: “I would like to add my thanks to everyone involved in this brilliant project to bring about this unveiling.

“As we come out of lockdown, and the mental health impacts beginning to be understood, it gives me great comfort that we have created four special places in Wigan for our residents to rest for a while and take in the beauty of our Green Flag parks.

“Thank you once again to everyone who made today possible.”

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