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24 September 2014
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Colin Lovekin sitting on one of his chairs
Colin Lovekin on one of his chairs

New life for old trolleys

An Exeter based designer is trying to reduce Britain's mountain of discarded shopping trolleys - by turning them into furniture.


Exeter designer Colin Lovekin is hoping to make a business out of rescuing old supermarket shopping trolleys by turning them into chairs.

Around 100,000 trolleys are destroyed every year in Britain, many going into landfill sites.

Colin, a 46-year-old design graduate, from Budlake near Exeter, created his first batch of trolley-based furniture for his degree in three-dimensional design.

The first trolleys were donated by Sainsbury's, and the company is now looking at the potential for using his furniture in advertising.

Shopping trolley
100,000 trolleys are destroyed each year

The chair design features curved arms, wheeled legs, and a basket at the back.

Father-of-two Mr Lovekin made three chairs and a sofa while studying for his degree at the University of Plymouth.

He uses one of his prototype chairs at his home in Budlake and is now set to make more for a friend.

"I was looking to make a chair from inappropriate material," he said when explaining how he came up with the idea.

"I telephoned Sainsbury's and asked if they had any spare trolleys, and within 10 minutes I had a telephone call from head office.

"I already had an idea of a shape for the furniture, and cut the trolleys up into their component parts to make them."

Mr Lovekin, a college warden in Somerset for five years, is also a cabinet maker and upholsterer.

last updated: 30/08/05
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