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Leading companies collaborate to launch recycled plastic truck mudguards

A collaboration between some of the country’s leading manufacturing and transport companies will mean hundreds of plastic truck mudguards will not be going to landfill this year—and instead will be recycled into new mudguards for heavy commercial vehicles. The project, led by Rhino Manufacturing in Rotorua, repurposes used Rhino mudguards into New Zealand’s first recycled plastic truck mudguards. The recycled mudguards perform in strength and colour, and meet the necessary industry requirements.

Rhino Manufacturing General Manager, Will Samuel says the project has taken a year from initial concept, to prototype, to literally hitting the road on trucks across the country. “We are absolutely thrilled with the development of this innovative and sustainable product that will go some way to helping the freight industry reduce its carbon emissions. It’s a really small step, but it’s an important one and it goes to show how a bit of creative thinking can start making a difference,” he says. “Each year around 2,000 tonnes of plastic truck mudguards are sent to landfill in New Zealand alone and it is great to be part of a solution that can do something about that.”

National Sales Manager, Shane O’Grady says the company has a strong commitment to sustainability and the recycled mudguards are a “no-brainer”.“We are always looking for innovative solutions to help us reduce waste and Rhino have really stepped up to the plate. We are also returning our own used guards for recycling so it’s great to see the finished product back
on our trucks, having come full circle.” Fonterra is one of the largest contributors to the recycling effort – with hundreds of milk tankers on the road and over a dozen mudguards on each one - and has been a key partner in getting the product off the ground.

“We started looking at our own recycling options, but after discussions with Rhino, we liked the fact that we know our old guards are being completely repurposed for the same purpose. It’s a great example of the circular economy,” says Fonterra’s National Parts and Warranty Manager, Guy Cooper. Plastics supplier Vision Plastics manages the supply of plastic and recycling process and General Manager, Steve Lewis says plastics can sometimes unjustly get a bad name. “But this project clearly demonstrates that companies
can cost-effectively achieve environmental benefits.” Mr Samuel says trucking companies can return their used Rhino guards for free and shipping may also be covered, depending on proximity to the specialist plastic recycling centres.

Customers can submit recycled to be collected using the form at HTTPS://MUDGUARDS.CO.NZ/RECYCLING/

To order recycled mudguards use colour code "-REC", e.g. PL12063-REC. 

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Trailer unit with Rhino black guards and infill spacers.

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TR Group National Sales Manager Shane O’Grady (left) and Rhino Manufacturing General Manager Will Samuel (right) inspect powder that is used in the manufacture of recycled plastic truck mudguards fitted on a TR Group truck.