New Recycling Facility in Australia Turns Beverage Cartons into Building Materials

A new saveBOARD facility has launched today, providing an innovative recycling solution for beverage cartons in Australia. Cartons, along with other recycled materials, are processed and upcycled into what saveBOARD describes as a ‘green & low carbon alternative’ to building materials (specifically plasterboard), that can be used in both residential and commercial construction projects.

Cartons are one of the most sustainable packaging options for milk and juice beverages in Australia as they are made mostly of renewable paper fibre, and very little material is needed to safely package food or beverages. However, due to a shortage of suitable infrastructure in Australia many cartons aren’t currently being recycled.

This new facility will provide a local recycling solution in Australia, contributing to the circular economy, and could reduce the dependency of exportation of cartons for recycling overseas. Planet Ark recently visited the site in Warragamba, New South Wales to check out the facility in person, and discuss the process with saveBOARDCo-Founder & CEO Paul Charteris.

saveBOARDis an industry-led collaboration between Tetra Pak and other carton manufacturers, Closed Loop, and Freightways. The boards produced at the facility can be used as a substitute for plasterboard and the saveBOARD technology provides a zero waste to landfill solution as any offcuts are reused and end-of-life boards can be remanufactured into new boards.

Orders from big organisations and corporations will create demand for the saveBOARD product, which in turn could mean less carbons emissions compared to the production of other construction boards. Not only is there zero manufacturing waste, but the production process uses zero water or chemicals, producing zero VOC emissions or formaldehydes.

“Now that we have [this facility] our Recycling and Collection team will work with the local councils, the collectors, the MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities) to make sure that domino effect happens” says Jaymie Pagdato, Marketing Director of Tetra Pak Oceania. “It starts here. We begin with the end in mind and now we have to work backwards to make sure there is collaboration with the brand owners, the government and customers. This is going to take time, it’s not going to be overnight, but this is the start.”

saveBOARD currently manufactures six different products, including ceiling tiles and exposed internal boards, each with a different ‘recipe’ of composite packaging, such as used beverage cartons – including the caps and straws, coffee cups – even casino playing cards can be in the mix! The process takes these materials, which are weighed to ensure there is the correct mix for the ‘recipe’ and shreds the collection using an industrial blender.

The shredded material is then compressed using heat and pressure to bond the materials, eliminating the need for glues or other chemical additives. The board is coated with a thin facing material before being used as construction boards. Builders can replace plywood, particle board, and plaster board with saveBOARDs, which provide a safe, low carbon option. Each board saves more than 500 used beverage cartons from landfill.



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