New Zealand company saveBOARD has received an AU$1.74 million grant from the Australian and New South Wales Governments towards setting up an AU$5 million facility that will turn packaging waste into high performance building material.
Australian 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. saveBOARD 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 per cent 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,” says Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO.
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) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its supporters Freightways and Closed Loop.
The first Australian saveBOARD plant will reprocess liquid paperboard beverage containers, including both 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.
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), suitable for use in homes and commercial buildings.