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How pulling it apart is pulling them in

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: July 17, 2008

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A RETIRED electronics engineer has been astounded by the success of his website aimed at driving down product packaging and encouraging recycling.

Michael Butler, of Cockwood near Starcross, designed PullApart.co.uk which 'pulls apart' packaging and tells producers where they're going wrong.

It also helps people identify what types of packaging go in which recycling bin.

The Herald Express first reported his innovation two years ago.

Since then, he said, his venture has taken off ten-fold.

The 56-year-old said: “It has exceeded all my expectations, and continues to develop from strength-to-strength.

“With a peak of about 300 visits a month, it is now linked to, and encouraged by, many major organisations.

“I believe it has also made a healthy contribution to our local kerbside recycling and public awareness.

“This started at a time when very little was being done about recycling at all and we were mostly lone voices. How things have changed since.

“Recycling, the environment and sustainability has now become very much on-trend hot topic, and mostly of a positive benefit to us all.”

Mr Butler said he has tweaked the website to make it more user-friendly. “After listening to my many visitors I've now included a search facility,” he said.

“The people of Teignbridge can now simply enter a product name and PullApart will find it. It shows just how the product's packaging is broken down and colour coded to our many wheelie bins and boxes.

“If you want to know which parts go into which bin, this is for you. It also shows kerbside recyclable parts that would otherwise be missed.”

PullApart is also accessible by mobile phone or PDA, he said, adding: “The database is now just over 1,700 products, and is building all the time. There is also a facility to get involved by contributing packaging information.

“This ability to search a product's packaging is absolutely unique to Teignbridge, no other UK council area has this little gem.”

Mr Butler has worked on his project with no financial help but is looking sponsorship. Contact him on pullapart@firenet.uk.net. Visit www.pullapart.co.uk

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