Turning beverage cartons into wallboards

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saveBOARD packaging waste feedstock.

NZ company gets Australian funding to build NSW facility that will turn packaging waste into high-performance building material.


New Zealand company saveBOARD has received a A$1.74 million grant from the Australian and New South Wales Governments towards setting up a A$5 million facility that will turn packaging waste into high-performance building material.

Builders will then be able to replace plywood, particle board and plaster board with low-carbon, environmentally-sustainable construction boards made from packaging waste such as used beverage cartons and coffee cups.

saveBOARD has the Asian Pacific distribution rights for waste-to-building- material technology developed in the United States, where it has been widely used for more than a decade.

The company has established a plant at Te Rapa near Hamilton that is recycling post-production industrial packaging waste from Fonterra and Frucor into construction boards that can be ordered now for December 2021 delivery.

The Australian and NSW Governments and the companies behind the NSW project expect the facility will create confidence in a new market for recycled construction materials, similar to roads made from recycled glass, and enable more packaging to become 100% recyclable, in line with national packaging targets.

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) says this is a fantastic step forward for beverage cartons and for the brands and consumers that use this important type of packaging.

“It is great to see this level of collaboration across the entire supply chain, addressing post-consumer materials by putting in place effective local end-market solutions,” APCO chief executive Brooke Donnelly says.

The project is the first collaboration between Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc in Australia under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE).

It is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its supporters Freightways and Closed Loop.

saveBOARD co-founder and chief executive Paul Charteris says making high-performance, low-carbon building materials using 100% recycled materials from everyday waste is a game changer that will transform the construction industry in Australia.

“It will enhance the construction industry’s drive towards more sustainable construction practices,” he says.

Tetra Pak Oceania managing director Andrew Pooch says the solution demonstrates Tetra Pak’s commitment and contribution to a low-carbon economy.

“It is more than just an investment for us. It is the right thing to do — to help limit waste to landfill, and support a technology that improves local waste collection and recycling infrastructure,” Pooch says.

“Cartons are the most sustainable packaging option for beverages in Australia. With a bespoke whole carton recycling solution, we are excited to contribute to a robust circular economy in Australia.”

SIG Combibloc Australia & New Zealand general manager Adam Lipscomb says SIG is delighted to support this first full recycling solution for beverage cartons on Australian soil.

“Cartons are the premier sustainable choice for food and beverage packaging in Australia, and today’s announcement further strengthens our leadership position,” Lipscomb says.

“This project is a key milestone towards achieving full circularity for beverage cartons in Australia, and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”


The process:

The saveBOARD process uses heat and compression to bond materials, eliminating the need for glues or other chemical additives, to produce a clean product with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and suitable for use in homes and commercial buildings.

The first Australian saveBOARD plant will reprocess liquid paperboard beverage containers, including aluminium-lined aseptic packages and non aluminium-lined containers collected through the container deposit scheme — and coffee cups collected through the “Simply Cups” recycling programme.

It will also source material from document recycling company Shred-X.

Together with supplementary material from industrial processes, these items will be used to manufacture high-performance, low-carbon building products to substitute plaster board, particle board and oriented strand board (OSB) that can be used for interior and exterior applications.

For more information visit www.saveboard.nz.

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