Local authority leaders have called on manufacturers to take back child car seats once they have reached the end of their life to prevent them being sent to landfill.
More than 250,000 child car seats reach their ‘safety expiry date’ in the UK every year, with 90% of them ending up in landfill - the equivalent of up to 2,000 tonnes of mostly recyclable material.
Child car seats are generally too hard to routinely dismantle due to their mix of materials and complex structures. This means most of the 2.1 million seats sold in the UK every year face being landfilled.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is urging manufacturers to offer a take back service to prevent them ending up at the tip. It is also urging retailers to offer trade-in incentives.
‘Councils are reducing waste sent to landfill and want to increase recycling rates but child car seats are too hard to recycle and can’t be accepted by re-use shops at local authority waste sites for safety reasons,’ said LGA environment spokesman, Cllr David Renard.
‘Having to treat child car seats as waste is scandalous and is extremely frustrating for councils and parents who want to dispose of these seats responsibly.
‘To help reduce the impact on the environment and help parents do the right thing, manufacturers need to set up their own recycling schemes for child car seats.
‘Retailers and manufacturers should also follow the lead of other countries in helping parents avoid waste by offering take-back services, where old car seats are recycled into new products as part of a circular economy.’