Inside story on reusing knapsack sprayers

Moves across the turfcare sector to recycle and reuse plastics are gaining force as product manufacturers and end users seek to strengthen their green credentials.

Synthetic pitch contractors and operators for example, each have to demonstrate they have sustainable pathways in place to recycle as much original material as they can.

Where that’s not possible, they must ensure anything they cannot repurpose finds its way to reprocessors, who can create fresh products from waste.

Pitch projects involve thousands of tonnes of material but responsibility for extending the life of plastic products by finding new applications for them extends to the other end of the industry too.

Knapsack sprayers are predominantly made from plastic and grounds professionals often cannot find a suitable second use for them when one product is replaced with another.

Not so Allan Wainwright, National Account Manager at spray technology specialists Hozelock UK, which manufactures several brands, including Berthoud and Cooper and Pegler.

“Grounds staff need to maintain sprayers correctly, otherwise they risk the equipment underperforming,” Allan explains. “That’s why building awareness through on-site training sessions is so important.”

Allan hit on the idea of creating training aids out of old sprayers by cutting away the front of the plastic enclosure to reveal their inner workings – giving end users and operators an insight into the mechanisms in play when they spray.

“Once sites understand how sprayers operate and what can go wrong if they don’t maintain them regularly or correctly, they make it a priority to clean and check them to ensure spraying efficiency,” Allan says.

“I display modified units along with new sprayers on permanent corporate exhibition and promotional stands,” Allan adds, “and also take one or two with me to site as demonstration models when discussing best practice.”

A small example perhaps of creative reuse of plastics products but evidence of formative thinking about a global issue.