Municipal waste pollution issues worldwide are exacerbated by spillage and leakage caused by ineffectually closed bins.
Households in the UK alone account for an estimated 44 million of the world’s 1.5 billion wheelie bins, with an additional 2.4 million in Ireland. While growing awareness of the long term environmental damage caused by plastic pollution and ineffectual waste disposal has led to greater efforts towards minimising litter and recycling, domestic and commercial wheelie bins – which remain the predominant repository for much of the world’s household and business waste – can lead to a number of hazards caused by improper closure and loose lids:
- Pest infestations, including foxes, rats, birds and raccoons, all of which can spread disease;
- Falling over or blowing over in high winds, spilling rubbish around the area;
- Householders keeping their wheelie bin closed by placing heavy objects, such as rocks, on the lid – this is both dangerous and could damage the bin;
- Odours and fluids escaping the bin;
- Litter which falls out of the bin finding its way into nearby ecosystems and wildlife habitats;
- Arson and robbery.
Gaelan Goodfellow, CEO of Ireland-based company BinStrap, has devised an innovative solution to leakage and spillage from improperly closed wheelie bins. The BinStrap is a patented, secure, storm proof device which holds wheelie bin lids in place even through adverse weather conditions and when the bin is tipped over. It can be used on both commercial and domestic bins, preventing animals and vandals from gaining access to the bin’s contents. The BinStrap is made from EDPM rubber and glass-filled nylon for maximum robustness and can be rotated a full 360 degrees. It is available worldwide and can be attached to the lid of a wheelie bin in 30 seconds.
To date BinStrap has won Home & Hardware’s ‘Highly Commended’ Award and was a finalist in three separate categories at the 2016 Green Awards. The company has partnered with commercial and public bodies, including Aberdeenshire County Council, with the aim of widespread deployment of BinStrap as a waste prevention solution. Matt Davis at Aberdeenshire County Council said: “I can confirm that Aberdeenshire Council has tested BinStrap and we were very happy with the results. We have since purchased the product and are rolling it out to our local residents on an ‘on request’ basis. We have found BinStrap to be a useful device to keep recycling bin lids shut on windy days and keep our customers happy.”
Every year an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans; and the UK government spends over £1 billion (€1.13 billion) annually on litter cleanup operations. By adopting BinStrap across the nation’s wheelie bins, both of these figures could be substantially reduced.