Menzies Distribution turns HGV side curtains into rucksacks and toiletry bags

Menzies Distribution, the logistics business spun out of Edinburgh-based John Menzies, is recycling HGV side curtains into rucksacks and toiletry bags.

The group said it was taking recycling to the next level, working with partners, including Aura Brand Solutions, to convert disused PVC curtains from its largest vehicles into colourful, durable bags.

The waste is tested for upcyclability and processed in the UK before being shipped for manufacture.

No Menzies-related branding remains visible on any bags and the first trial of this initiative will alone divert 17 tonnes of waste from landfill, potentially saving in excess of 30 tonnes of CO2 from manufacturing and landfill.

Material such as car seat belts and bicycle inner tubes have also been used in the making of the water-repellent tote bags, rucksacks and toiletry bags.

The initiative follows the firm’s move last December to become the UK’s first distribution business specifying fully recyclable vehicle branding for its final mile vehicle fleet.

Adam Purshall, fleet and procurement director at Menzies Distribution, said: “Curtains-to-bags and the recyclable livery programme show that almost anything is possible when pursuing innovative routes to greater sustainability.”

In December, the firm said it was partnering with vehicle and architectural branding specialist Aura Brand Solutions, and sign materials manufacturer Metamark, to review the materials used in fleet livery graphics.

Menzies Distribution said it was taking recycling to the next level, working with partners, including Aura Brand Solutions, to convert disused PVC curtains from its largest vehicles into colourful, durable bags.

The work has focused on testing and developing MetaStream, a new process offering a recycling option for a wide range of proven Metamark materials.

The input for the process is a variety of printed and coloured films, recovered and consolidated by the fleet livery producer, while outputs include a variety of transport related articles, even traffic cones, which may be recycled many times.

Purshall said at the time: “Launching this ground-breaking initiative hot on the heels of COP26 couldn’t be more appropriate. We’re delighted with early CO2 savings from the recyclable livery programme and determined to continue pursuing innovative routes to greater sustainability at Menzies.”

The initial phases of the company’s programme will have contributed a saving of some three tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the output of two cars driving around an inner-city for a year.

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