The plant will be able to recycle over 1000 tonnes of woven polypropylene bulk fertiliser bags into high quality pellets each year. These polypropylene pellets will then be used by New Zealand companies to make locally manufactured products such as irrigation tubing and rope.
Originally the facility was acquired as part of EnviroNZ’s purchase of Christchurch-based Mastagard in 2014, but had been mothballed since 2012.
“This funding will enable EnviroNZ to carry out polypropylene recycling. The company will install additional bulk fertiliser bag processing and storage equipment, such as a shredder, wash plant, blowers and silos,” said Christchurch’s Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson.
“By establishing essential infrastructure in New Zealand to recycle the used bags, EnviroNZ will help reduce the quantity of woven polypropylene bulk fertiliser bags currently being disposed of on farms,” he continued.
Fertiliser manufacturers and distributors Ballance and Ravensdown produce about 1 million single-use bulk fertiliser bags, approximately 3000 tonnes. EnviroNZ has worked with Ballance and Ravensdown to establish a successful collection system to recover these bags from farms. Farmers are now sending on average 100 tonne of bags per month for recycling.
To date the collected bags had been baled and stored, waiting to be exported offshore. Now they will be able to be processed onshore once the upgrade and re-commissioning of EnviroNZ’s plastics recycling plant is completed.
“It’s exciting to see EnviroNZ working with other New Zealand companies to recycle these bags in an environmentally safe way, and at the same time provide a primary source of material to another industry. Recycling and minimising waste is a key strategy for protecting New Zealand’s environment for future generations,” said Simpson.
The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
More information on the Waste Minimisation Fund visit can be found HERE
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