A new plastics recycling solution will soon be available to Lake Macquarie residents, thanks to an innovative partnership between Council and Australian Composite Technology’s (ACT) Plasmar brand.
Locals can drop off household quantities of non-foil-based soft plastics free of charge at the Awaba Community Recycling Centre (CRC) from 15 July, filling a service gap left by the collapse of the REDcycle scheme.
Council will also recover hard plastics such as bumper bars, laundry baskets and planter pots, along with old CDs and DVDs, from its waste management facilities to divert these materials from landfill.
These hard and soft plastics will be collected by ACT to be pelletised and transformed into a specialty material known as ‘Plasmar’, used to create products such as fence posts, bollards, sleepers and park benches.
As part of the agreement, council will buy back the manufactured products for use across Lake Macquarie, contributing to the city’s circular economy.
Mayor Kay Fraser said council had already purchased five Plasmar park benches for use in its asset replacement program to help launch the program.
“When REDcycle folded late last year, residents were left with no recycling alternative for their plastics,” she said.
“This partnership fills that void and is a wonderful example of local government leading the way with private industry to offer an alternative solution to an escalating environmental issue.
“In addition to the CRC drop off, council has also installed soft plastics bins in our office spaces for staff to recycle packaging generated in the workplace to help get the ball rolling.”
ACT spokesperson Rose Smithers said its end products were a CSIRO-tested, long-lasting and sustainable alternative to timber, concrete and steel.
“Plasmar products can be recycled indefinitely, do not require chemical treatments and have a longer life cycle than other materials, as they are immune to insect and fungal attacks and rot,” they said.
“Not only does Plasmar reduce plastic waste in landfill, it offers an environmentally friendly substitute to traditional construction materials which can ebb and flow in availability.
“Our recycling model is a closed loop system, which means there is always a secure end market for Plasmar products and no excess waste is generated.”
Council is investigating future options for soft plastic recycling as part of the next regional recycling processing contract.
For more information and a full list of plastic products accepted for recycling, visit lakemac.com.au
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