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Major US Car Seat Makers: tell them what you think about car seat recycling

One of our readers, Kerry, who is very interested in bringing car seat recycling to Bozeman, Montana recently emailed that she contacted Graco, the company that manufactured her child's car seat. She told them she'd be very interested in a "take back" program or a way to recycle the car seat. As you can imagine, their response wasn't very promising:

Kerry, thank you for contacting Graco. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a recycling program for our car seats. If you need further assistance, please contact us again.

As Kerry puts it, Graco is "letting a marketing opportunity just pass them by!" Well put Kerry, I couldn't agree with you more! We, the moms who dutifully buy and install and ensure the safety of our children while driving in car seats, want to find a way to recycle expired car seats across the US. If we all write to our car seat manufacturers, they might actually start paying attention.

Right now, we have two Britax car seats, and two Graco boosters. I'm going to write to these manufacturers, and I hope you will join me in doing so:

Dear Car Seat Manufacturer,
Thank you for making a product that protects the safety of my child while in the car. We chose your product because we felt it was rated high in safety, ease of use and was affordable. What's troubling is that many car seats don't get recycled at their end of life. We don't want to hand-down a seat to a friend or family member if it is too old. But we do want to recycle it. We live in a city that actually offers car seat recycling, where they can dismantle and recycle 95% of each seat. What you could do, on the manufacturing end of things, is make car seats that are easy for real people to take apart: design for disassembly. Here in the US, most families buy a lot of car seats, since the safety of our children is important. But so is our environment. Most people would recycle their car seats given the opportunity. I know I will. Please consider making your car seats easier to recycle, with design for disassembly as part of your process, and I will continue to support your products and encourage my friends with kids to purchase them.

Here are some of the major car seat manufacturers in the US if you would like to contact them, and tell them your thoughts about car seat recycling and design for disassembly:

Most of their web sites say they would love to hear from us!!

This post was edited on 9/30/2011 to update links to car seat manufacturers' current sites.

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