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‘Industry, advertisers must adopt more sustainable measures’

By Rajiv Raghunath - May 27, 2019

Following the introduction of eco-friendly billboard skins in Australia called ‘SmartSkins’, Media4Growth reached out to Nigel Spicer, General Manager, Cactus Imaging, Australia to know more about the eco-friendly OOH business initiative. SmartSkins is now seen as benchmark for Australia’s OOH industry with the substrate and mounting ropes being 100% recyclable. oOh!media is the parent company of Cactus Imaging that has developed SmartSkins

Nigel SpicerWhat makes SmartSkins environment friendly?

Up until the advent of SmartSkins, the PVC used in production of billboards could not be recycled to form other products. The new substrate we developed, however, could be shredded and when mixed with a blend of other recycled product and polymer could be extruded into other useful products – products that typically are made out of wood collected by destroying hardwood forests.

Is there a certification for this fabric?

There is no official certification on the fabric, but certainly it has proven to be successfully used for repurposing into other products.

Do you see an international market for this media?

The potential is there. We would hope that the industry and advertisers around the world will adopt more sustainable measures including the adoption of SmartSkins in the production process – particularly given that it does not cost that much more than traditional PVC based skins.

What is the durability of the recycled products, especially with regard to street furniture?

While the recycled products are relatively new, the life cycle of the products made from recyclables is far greater than those made from traditional timber. For example, with 54 tonnes of recyclable plastic and 10.5 tonnes of polystyrene, we can produce about 1,500 railway sleepers – which would support one kilometre of railway track.

Traditionally these sleepers would be made from hardwood timber. Consider the toll on the environment, and cost to rail operators in replacing them every 15 years or so, compared with a design life of 50 years for the Duratrack sleeper. It makes enormous sense for the environment and substantial cost savings over the years.



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